Luís de Camões

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Love is a fire that burns unseen.

Luís Vaz de Camões (or de Camoens) (c. 1524June 10 1580) is considered the national poet of Portugal. He wrote lyric poems in both Portuguese and Spanish, but is best remembered for his Os Lusíadas, an epic about the voyages of Vasco de Gama, their connection with the manipulations of the Roman gods, the History of Portugal and the personal opinions of the author on subjects such as greed and jealousy.

Quotes[edit]

Sonnets[edit]

Amor é fogo que arde sem se ver[edit]

  • Amor é um fogo qu'arde sem se ver,
    É ferida que dói, e não se sente,
    É um contentamento descontente,
    É dor que desatina sem doer.

    É um não querer mais que bem querer,
    É um andar solitário entre a gente,
    É nunca contentar-se de contente,
    É um cuidar que ganha em se perder.

    É querer estar preso por vontade,
    É servir a quem vence o vencedor
    É ter com quem nos mata lealdade.

    Mas como causar pode seu favor
    Nos corações humanos amizade,
    Se tão contrário a si é o mesmo Amor?

    • Love is a fire that burns unseen,
      A wound that aches yet isn't felt,
      An always discontent contentment,
      A pain that rages without hurting,

      A longing for nothing but to long,
      A loneliness in the midst of people,
      A never feeling pleased when pleased,
      A passion that gains when lost in thought.

      It's being enslaved of your own free will;
      It's counting your defeat a victory;
      It's staying loyal to your killer.

      But if it's so self-contradictory,
      How can Love, when Love chooses,
      Bring human hearts into sympathy?

    • Rimas, Sonnet 81 (translated by Richard Zenith).

Ah! minha Dinamene! Assim deixaste[edit]

  • Ah! minha Dinamene! Assim deixaste
    Quem não deixara nunca de querer-te!
    Ah! Ninfa minha, já não posso ver-te,
    Tão asinha esta vida desprezaste!

    Como já pera sempre te apartaste
    De quem tão longe estava de perder-te?
    Puderam estas ondas defender-te
    Que não visses quem tanto magoaste?

    Nem falar-te somente a dura Morte
    Me deixou, que tão cedo o negro manto
    Em teus olhos deitado consentiste!

    Oh mar! oh céu! oh minha escura sorte!
    Que pena sentirei que valha tanto,
    Que inda tenha por pouco viver triste?

    • Ah, Dinamene,
      Thou hast forsaken him
      Whose love for thee has never ceased,
      And no more will he behold thee on this earth!
      How early didst thou deem life of little worth!
      I found thee
      — Alas, to lose thee all too soon!
      How strong, how cruel the waves!
      Thou canst not ever know
      My longing and my grief!
      Did cold death still thy voice
      Or didst thou of thyself
      Draw the sable veil before thy lovely face?
      O sea, O sky, O fate obscure!
      To live without thee, Dinamene, avails me not.
    • Luis de Camoens and the epic of the Lusiads. (1. ed.), Henry Hersch Hart (1962), p. 327.
    • Variant translation:
      • Then couldst thou leave, ah Dinamene mine!
        One who could never leave the will to sue thee,
        That now, gent Nymph! these eyne may ne'er review thee?
        Why thus despised life so soon resign?

        How couldst abandon for eternal syne
        One who to lose thee did so far pursue thee?
        And had this Main such might that it withdrew thee
        From ever seeing him so doomed to pine?

        Not e'en allowed me Death dour and dure
        To speak thee, thou thyself the sable veil
        Consentedst o'er thine eyes by Doom be thrown.

        O Sea! O Sky! O my sad lot obscure!
        What life can lose I that shall much avail,
        If cheap I hold it in such woes to wone!

Alma Minha Gentil, que te Partiste[edit]

Translated by Richard Francis Burton in Littell's Living Age, Vol. 149 (1881), p. 66.
  • Alma minha gentil, que te partiste
    Tão cedo desta vida descontente,
    Repousa lá no Céu eternamente,
    E viva eu cá na terra sempre triste.
    • Ah, gentle soul of me, that didst depart
      This life of discontent, so sudden tane;
      Rest there eternal in the heavenly reign,
      Live I here pent to play sad mortal part!

Que levas, cruel Morte? Um claro dia[edit]

Translated by Richard Francis Burton in The Lyricks (1884), p. 80.
  • «Que levas, cruel Morte?» «Um claro dia».
    «A que horas o tomaste?» «Amanhecendo».
    «Entendes o que levas?» «Não o entendo».
    «Pois quem to faz levar?» «Quem o entendia».
    • What takest thou, cruel Death? A day all-splendid.
      At what hour diddest take it? At dawn of day.
      Dost thou intend thy prize? Intend it? Nay!
      Who willed thou take it? HE that it intended.

Esparsa ao desconcerto do mundo[edit]

Translation from Henry Hersch Hart Luís de Camões and the Epic of the Lusiads (1962) p. 111.
  • Os bons vi sempre passar
    No mundo graves tormentos;
    E para mais me espantar,
    Os maus vi sempre nadar
    Em mar de contentamentos.
    • Ever in this world saw I
      Good men suffer grave torments,
      But even more—
      Enough to terrify—
      Men who live out evil lives
      Reveling in pleasure and in content.

Transforma-se o amador na cousa amada[edit]

Translated by Richard Zenith.
  • Transforma-se o amador na cousa amada,
    Por virtude do muito imaginar;
    Não tenho, logo, mais que desejar,
    Pois em mim tenho a parte desejada.
    • The lover becomes the thing he loves
      By virtue of much imagining;
      Since what I long for is already in me,
      The act of longing should be enough.

Mudam-se os tempos, mudam-se as vontades[edit]

  • Mudam-se os tempos, mudam-se as vontades,
    Muda-se o ser, muda-se a confiança;
    Todo o mundo é composto de mudança,
    Tomando sempre novas qualidades.
    • Time changes, and our desires change. What we
      believe—even what we are—is ever-
      changing. The world is change, which forever
      takes on new qualities.
    • Selected Sonnets: A Bilingual Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2008), p. 70

Os Lusíadas (published 1572)[edit]

The Lusiads, an epic poem.
A nobler hero's deeds demand my lays
Than e'er adorn'd the song of ancient days;
Illustrious GAMA, whom the waves obey'd,
And whose dread sword the fate of empire sway'd.
  • As armas e os Barões assinalados
    Que da Ocidental praia Lusitana
    Por mares nunca de antes navegados
    Passaram ainda além da Taprobana,
    Em perigos e guerras esforçados
    Mais do que prometia a força humana,
    E entre gente remota edificaram
    Novo Reino, que tanto sublimaram.

    E também as memórias gloriosas
    Daqueles Reis, que foram dilatando
    A Fé, o Império, e as terras viciosas
    De África e de Ásia andaram devastando;
    E aqueles, que por obras valerosas
    Se vão da lei da morte libertando;
    Cantando espalharei por toda parte,
    Se a tanto me ajudar o engenho e arte.

    Cessem do sábio Grego e do Troiano
    As navegações grandes que fizeram;
    Cale-se de Alexandro e de Trajano
    A fama das vitórias que tiveram;
    Que eu canto o peito ilustre Lusitano,
    A quem Neptuno e Marte obedeceram.
    Cesse tudo o que a Musa antiga canta,
    Que outro valor mais alto se alevanta.

    • Arms and the Heroes, who from Lisbon's shore,
      Thro' Seas where sail was never spread before,
      Beyond where Ceylon lifts her spicy breast,
      And waves her woods above the watery waste,
      With prowess more than human forc'd their way
      To the fair kingdoms of the rising day:
      What wars they wag'd, what seas, what dangers past,
      What glorious empire crown'd their toils at last,
      Vent'rous I sing, on soaring pinions borne,
      And all my country's wars the song adorn.
      What Kings, what Heroes of my native land
      Thunder'd on Asia's and on Afric's strand:
      Illustrious shades, who levell'd in the dust
      The idol temples and the shrines of lust;
      And where, erewhile, foul demons were rever'd,
      To Holy Faith unnumber'd altars rear'd:
      Illustrious names, with deathless laurels crown'd,
      While time rolls on in every clime renown'd!

      Let Fame with wonder name the Greek no more,
      What lands he saw, what toils at sea he bore;
      No more the Trojan's wandering voyage boast,
      What storms he brav'd on many a per'lous coast:
      No more let Rome exult in Trajan's name,
      Nor Eastern conquests Ammon's pride proclaim;
      A nobler hero's deeds demand my lays
      Than e'er adorn'd the song of ancient days;
      Illustrious GAMA, whom the waves obey'd,
      And whose dread sword the fate of empire sway'd.

    • Canto I, st. 1–3 (translated by William Julius Mickle, 1776). Cf. Sextus Propertius, Elegies, Book II, xxxiv, lines 65–66: Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite Grai! / Nescioquid maius nascitur Iliade. ("Make way, you Roman writers, make way, Greeks! / Something greater than the Iliad is born.")
  • Do rosto respirava um ar divino,
    Que divino tornara um corpo humano;
    Com uma coroa e ceptro rutilante,
    De outra pedra mais clara que diamante.
    • The crown, of heaven's own pearls, whose ardent rays,
      Flam'd round his brows, outshone the diamond's blaze:
      His breath such gales of vital fragrance shed,
      As might, with sudden life, inspire the dead.
    • Canto I, st. 22 (translated by Mickle); of Jove.
The moon, full orb'd, forsakes her watery cave,
And lifts her lovely head above the wave.
The snowy splendours of her modest ray
Stream o'er the glistening waves, and quivering play:
Around her, glittering on the heaven's arched brow,
Unnumber'd stars, enclosed in azure, glow,
Thick as the dew-drops of the April dawn,
Or May-flowers crowding o'er the daisy-lawn:
The canvas whitens in the silvery beam,
And with a mild pale red the pendants gleam:
The masts' tall shadows tremble o'er the deep;
The peaceful winds a holy silence keep.
  • Da Lua os claros raios rutilavam
    Pelas argênteas ondas Neptuninas,
    As estrelas os Céus acompanhavam,
    Qual campo revestido de boninas;
    Os furiosos ventos repousavam
    Pelas covas escuras peregrinas.
    • The moon, full orb'd, forsakes her watery cave,
      And lifts her lovely head above the wave.
      The snowy splendours of her modest ray
      Stream o'er the glistening waves, and quivering play:
      Around her, glittering on the heaven's arched brow,
      Unnumber'd stars, enclosed in azure, glow,
      Thick as the dew-drops of the April dawn,
      Or May-flowers crowding o'er the daisy-lawn:
      The canvas whitens in the silvery beam,
      And with a mild pale red the pendants gleam:
      The masts' tall shadows tremble o'er the deep;
      The peaceful winds a holy silence keep;
      The watchman's carol, echo'd from the prows,
      Alone, at times, awakes the still repose.
    • Canto I, st. 58 (as translated by Mickle).
  • É fraqueza entre ovelhas ser leão.
    • Reason blames, / Those who could play the lion amongst lambs.
    • Canto I, st. 68 (translated by Thomas Livingstone Mitchell).
    • Cf. Robert Ffrench Duff's translation: "Of crushing flocks of sheep no lion could be proud!"
Ah! where shall weary man take sanctuary,
where live his little span of life secure?
and 'scape of Heav'n serene th' indignant storms
that launch their thunders at us earthen worms?
  • Ó grandes e gravíssimos perigos!
    Ó caminho de vida nunca certo:
    Que aonde a gente põe sua esperança,
    Tenha a vida tão pouca segurança!

    No mar tanta tormenta, e tanto dano,
    Tantas vezes a morte apercebida!
    Na terra tanta guerra, tanto engano,
    Tanta necessidade aborrecida!
    Onde pode acolher-se um fraco humano,
    Onde terá segura a curta vida,
    Que não se arme, e se indigne o Céu sereno
    Contra um bicho da terra tão pequeno?

    • O piteous lot of man's uncertain state!
      What woes on Life's unhappy journey wait!
      When joyful Hope would grasp its fond desire,
      The long-sought transports in the grasp expire.
      By sea what treacherous calms, what rushing storms,
      And death attendant in a thousand forms!
      By land what strife, what plots of secret guile,
      How many a wound from many a treacherous smile!
      O where shall man escape his numerous foes,
      And rest his weary head in safe repose!
    • Canto I, st. 105–6 (translated by William Julius Mickle, 1776).
  • Queimou o sagrado templo de Diana,
    Do subtil Tesifónio fabricado,
    Heróstrato, por ser da gente humana
    Conhecido no mundo e nomeado:
    Se também com tais obras nos engana
    O desejo de um nome avantajado,
    Mais razão há que queira eterna glória
    Quem faz obras tão dignas de memória.
    • If chaste Diana's consecrated Fane,
      Rais'd by the wondrous skill of Ctesiphon,
      To sacrilegious flames was sacrific'd
      By Eratostratus, to blazon forth
      His name; if such unholy deeds are wrought
      Vain-glory to perpetuate; how much
      More due is deathless fame to him, whose acts
      Are worthy of eternal memory!
    • Canto II, stanza 113 (translated by Thomas Moore Musgrave).
Death of Inês de Castro
  • Queria perdoar-lhe o Rei benino,
    Movido das palavras que o magoam;
    Mas o pertinaz povo, e seu destino
    (Que desta sorte o quis) lhe não perdoam.
    Arrancam das espadas de aço fino
    Os que por bom tal feito ali apregoam.
    Contra uma dama, ó peitos carniceiros,
    Feros vos amostrais, e cavaleiros?
    • In tears she utter'd—as the frozen snow
      Touch'd by the spring's mild ray, begins to flow,
      So just began to melt his stubborn soul,
      As mild-ray'd pity o'er the tyrant stole;
      But destiny forbade: with eager zeal,
      Again pretended for the public weal,
      Her fierce accusers urged her speedy doom;
      Again dark rage diffused its horrid gloom
      O'er stern Alonzo's brow: swift at the sign,
      Their swords unsheathed around her brandish'd shine.
      O foul disgrace, of knighthood lasting stain,
      By men of arms a helpless lady slain!
    • Canto III, st. 130 (translated by Mickle); of Inez de Castro.
  • Mas quem pode livrar-se por ventura
    Dos laços que Amor arma brandamente
    Entre as rosas e a neve humana pura,
    O ouro e o alabastro transparente?
    Quem de uma peregrina formosura,
    De um vulto de Medusa propriamente,
    Que o coração converte, que tem preso,
    Em pedra não, mas em desejo aceso?

    Quem viu um olhar seguro, um gesto brando,
    Uma suave e angélica excelência,
    Que em si está sempre as almas transformando,
    Que tivesse contra ela resistência?
    Desculpado por certo está Fernando,
    Para quem tem de amor experiência;
    Mas antes, tendo livre a fantasia,
    Por muito mais culpado o julgaria.

    • And who can boast he never felt the fires,
      The trembling throbbings of the young desires,
      When he beheld the breathing roses glow,
      And the soft heavings of the living snow;
      The waving ringlets of the auburn hair,
      And all the rapturous graces of the fair!
      Oh! what defence, if fixt on him, he spy
      The languid sweetness of the stedfast eye!
      Ye who have felt the dear luxurious smart,
      When angel-charms oppress the powerless heart,
      In pity here relent the brow severe,
      And o'er Fernando's weakness drop the tear.
    • Canto III, st. 142–3 (as translated by Mickle).
  • Ó Rei subido,
    Aventurar-me a ferro, a fogo, a neve
    É tão pouco por vós, que mais me pena
    Ser esta vida cousa tão pequena.
    • O Mighty King! The perils of the sword,
      Or fire, or frost, I nothing estimate;
      But much I grieve that life must circumscribe
      The limits of my zeal.
    • Canto IV, st. 79 (translated by Thomas Moore Musgrave).
Statue of Adamastor by Júlio Vaz Júnior
  • Não acabava, quando uma figura
    Se nos mostra no ar, robusta e válida,
    De disforme e grandíssima estatura,
    O rosto carregado, a barba esquálida,
    Os olhos encovados, e a postura
    Medonha e má, e a cor terrena e pálida,
    Cheios de terra e crespos os cabelos,
    A boca negra, os dentes amarelos.

    Tão grande era de membros, que bem posso
    Certificar-te, que este era o segundo
    De Rodes estranhíssimo Colosso,
    Que um dos sete milagres foi do mundo:
    Com um tom de voz nos fala horrendo e grosso,
    Que pareceu sair do mar profundo:
    Arrepiam-se as carnes e o cabelo
    A mi e a todos, só de ouvi-lo e vê-lo.

    • I spoke, when rising through the darken'd air,
      Appall'd, we saw a hideous phantom glare;
      High and enormous o'er the flood he tower'd,
      And 'thwart our way with sullen aspect lower'd
      An earthy paleness o'er his cheeks was spread,
      Erect uprose his hairs of wither'd red;
      Writhing to speak, his sable lips disclose,
      Sharp and disjoin'd, his gnashing teeth's blue rows;
      His haggard beard flow'd quiv'ring on the wind,
      Revenge and horror in his mien combin'd;
      His clouded front, by with'ring lightnings scar'd,
      The inward anguish of his soul declar'd.
      His red eyes, glowing from their dusky caves,
      Shot livid fires: far echoing o'er the waves
      His voice resounded, as the cavern'd shore
      With hollow groan repeats the tempest's roar.
      Cold gliding horrors thrill'd each hero’s breast,
      Our bristling hair and tott'ring knees confess'd
      Wild dread, the while with visage ghastly wan,
      His black lips trembling, thus the fiend began...
    • Canto V, st. 39–40 (translated by Mickle).
    • Description of Adamastor, the "Spirit of the Cape".
  • Pois vens ver os segredos escondidos
    Da natureza e do úmido elemento,
    A nenhum grande humano concedidos
    De nobre ou de imortal merecimento,
    Ouve os danos de mim, que apercebidos
    Estão a teu sobejo atrevimento,
    Por todo o largo mar e pela terra,
    Que ainda hás de sojugar com dura guerra.
    • Com'st thou to penetrate the mysteries
      Of nature, and this humid element,
      Which to no mortal yet have been reveal'd,
      Whate'er his merit, or his deathless fame?
      But listen! Thou shalt know what punishments
      For thy bold daring are by me prepar'd,
      Which on the spacious deep thou shalt endure,
      And 'midst the regions thou shalt yet subdue
      By force of arms.
    • Canto V, st. 42 (translated by Thomas Moore Musgrave).
  • Ó quanto deve o Rei que bem governa,
    De olhar que os conselheiros, ou privados,
    De consciência e de virtude interna
    E de sincero amor sejam dotados!
    Porque, como este posto na suprema
    Cadeira, pode mal dos apartados
    Negócios ter notícia mais inteira,
    Do que lhe der a língua conselheira.
    • With what solicitude the King who wields
      His scepter'd power with justice, should select,
      To aid his counsels, Sages most endow'd
      With skill and conscientious rectitude!
      He who is plac'd upon the Royal Throne,
      For knowledge of the high concerns of State,
      Must, on the wisdom and fidelity
      Of his chief Counsellors, mainly rely.
    • Canto VIII, st. 54 (translated by Thomas Moore Musgrave).
  • Quem faz injúria vil e sem razão,
    Com forças e poder em que está posto,
    Não vence; que a vitória verdadeira
    É saber ter justiça nua e inteira.
    • He who, solely to oppress,
      Employs or martial force, or pow'r, achieves
      No victory; but a true victory
      Is gain'd, when justice triumphs and prevails.
    • Canto X, st. 58 (translated by Thomas Moore Musgrave).
      • Cf. Nabuco's translation: "He who inflicts a vile and unjust harm by using the power and the force with which he is invested, does not conquer; the true victory is to have on one's side Right naked and entire."
  • Nô mais, Musa, nô mais, que a Lira tenho
    Destemperada e a voz enrouquecida,
    E não do canto, mas de ver que venho
    Cantar a gente surda e endurecida.
    O favor com que mais se acende o engenho
    Não no dá a pátria, não, que está metida
    No gosto da cobiça e na rudeza
    Dũa austera, apagada e vil tristeza.
    • No more, my Muse! no more, for now my Lyre
      untuned lies, and hoarse my voice of Song;
      not that of singing tire I, but I tire
      singing for surd and horny-hearted throng.
      Favours which Poet-fancy mostly fire
      our Land gives not, ah, no! 'tis plunged too long
      in lust of lucre, whelmed in rudest folly
      of vile, austere and vulgar melancholy.
    • Canto X, st. 145 (translated by Richard Francis Burton).
Take counsel only with experienced hands,
men who long years, long moons, saw rise and fall:
Many for gen'eral science fitness show,
yet the partic'ulars none save experts know.
  • Fazei, Senhor, que nunca os admirados
    Alemães, Galos, Ítalos e Ingleses,
    Possam dizer que são pera mandados,
    Mais que pera mandar, os Portugueses.
    Tomai conselho só d'exprimentados
    Que viram largos anos, largos meses,
    Que, posto que em cientes muito cabe,
    Mais em particular o experto sabe.
    • So do, my Sire! that sons of famous lands
      Britons, Italians, Germans and the Gaul,
      ne'er vaunt that might of mortal man commands
      thy Portingalls, who should command them all.
      Take counsel only with experienced hands,
      men who long years, long moons, saw rise and fall:
      Many for gen'eral science fitness show,
      yet the partic'ulars none save experts know.
    • Canto X, st. 152 (translated by Richard Francis Burton).
    • The Poet advising King Sebastian of Portugal, then eighteen years of age.
  • Pera servir-vos, braço às armas feito,
    Pera cantar-vos, mente às Musas dada;
    Só me falece ser a vós aceito,
    De quem virtude deve ser prezada.
    Se me isto o Céu concede, e o vosso peito
    Dina empresa tomar de ser cantada,
    Como a pres[s]aga mente vaticina
    Olhando a vossa inclinação divina,

    Ou fazendo que, mais que a de Medusa,
    A vista vossa tema o monte Atlante,
    Ou rompendo nos campos de Ampelusa
    Os muros de Marrocos e Trudante,
    A minha já estimada e leda Musa
    Fico que em todo o mundo de vós cante,
    De sorte que Alexandro em vós se veja,
    Sem à dita de Aquiles ter enveja.

    • For serving thee an arm to Arms addrest;
      for singing thee a soul the Muses raise;
      nought lacks me save of thee to stand confest,
      whose duty 'tis the Good to prize and praise:
      If Heav'en concede me this, and if thy breast
      deign incept worthy of a Poet's lays;—
      as doth presage my spirit vaticine
      viewing thee pace the human path divine:—

      Or do'ing such derring-do, that ne'er Meduse
      shall Atlas-mountain like thy glances shake,
      or battling on the plains of Ampeluse
      Marocco's mures and Terodant to break;
      my now esteemed and rejoicing Muse
      thy name o'er Earth, I swear, so famed shall make,
      an Alexander shall in Thee be shown
      who of Achilles envy ne'er shall own.

    • Canto X, st. 155–6 (translated by Richard Francis Burton); dedication to King Sebastian of Portugal.
      • Cf. Thomas Moore Musgrave's translation:
        ————An arm thee to defend,
        And inspiration to record thy feats,
        Benign acceptance now alone demand
        Where merit ever should be duly priz'd.
        If Heav'n my ardent wishes should concede,
        And thy exploits should grace heroic verse—
        Which the prophetic mind may well presage
        From that devotion which thy breast inspires—

        Whether Mount Atlas tremble at thy glance,
        More than when shewn Medusa's snake-crown'd head,—
        Or whether Ampelusa's gory field
        Shall see dispersed thy Moorish enemies—
        The joyful Muse—under thy auspices—
        Thy deeds shall in such strains sublime rehearse,
        That thou no sigh, like Ammon's son, shalt breathe,
        Envying the Lyre that sung Achilles' fame.


Attributed[edit]

  • Enfim acabarei a vida e verão todos que fui tão afeiçoado à minha Pátria que não só me contentei de morrer nela, mas com ela.
    • I am ending the course of my life, but the world will bear witness how I have loved my country; I have returned not only to die on her bosom, but to die with her!
    • Last words, as reported in The Yale Literary Magazine, Vol. VIII (1843), p. 115.

Quotes about Camões[edit]

Camoens' poem has something of the charm of the Odyssey and of the magnificence of the Aeneid.
~ Montesquieu (1748)
Thus, Camoes,
be my model!

~ Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
Camões soothed with it an exile's grief.
~ William Wordsworth
  • Aqui jaz Luís de Camões, príncipe dos poetas do seu tempo; viveu pobre e miseravelmente e assi morreu.
    • Here lies Luis de Camoens: he excelled all the poets of his time. He lived poor and miserable; and he died so.
    • Inscription placed over Camões' grave by Gonçalo Coutinho, as quoted in Poems, from the Portuguese of Luis de Camoens: with remarks on his life and writings. Notes, &c. &c. by Lord Viscount Strangford (1803), p. 22.
  • The most beautiful epic of the Iberian Peninsula is Portuguese: the Lusiadas of Luis de Camões (1572), the great epic of the ocean, which sings of Vasco da Gama's voyage around Africa and the Portuguese colonization of the Indies.
    • Erich Auerbach, in Introduction to Romance languages and literature (1961), p. 185.
  • And this morning, as I sat alone within the inner chamber
    With the great saloon beyond it, lost in pleasant thought serene—
    For I had been reading Camoëns—that poem you remember,
    Which his lady's eyes are praised in, as the sweetest ever seen.
  • [Camões] is the soldier's poet par excellence.
    • Roy Campbell, in Portugal (1957), p. 142, as quoted in Monteiro The Presence of Pessoa (1998), p. 22.
  • Among the great Epopaea, which are constructed upon the basis of a classic culture, we must include the "Lysiad" of Camoens. In the subject-matter of this entirely national composition, which celebrates the bold sea-faring of the Portuguese, we are already beyond the true Middle Ages, and have interests unfolded, which inaugurate a new era. But here, too, despite the glow of its patriotism, despite the life-like character of the descriptive matter, based for the most part upon the author's own experience, we are still conscious of a real barrier between the subject that is national and an artistic culture that is borrowed from the ancients and the Italians.
    • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, in The Philosophy of Fine Art [posthumously published lectures, 1835-38], Volume I (Hacker Art Books, 1975), p. 190; also in Hegel's Lectures on Absolute Spirit (Thoemmes Press, 1999), p. 189.
  • Luis de Camoens, the greatest literary genius ever produced by Portugal; in martial courage, and spirit of honour, nothing inferior to her greatest heroes.
  • ... chantés par le Camoèns, dont le poème fait sentir quelque chose des charmes de l'Odyssée et de la magnificence de l'Enéide.
  • The perfection [Vollendung] of Portuguese poetry is all the more apparent in the beautiful poems of the great Camões.
    • Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel, in Dichtkunst (1803) [Portuguese Poetry], as quoted in Cochran Twilight Of The Literary: Figures Of Thought In The Age Of Print (2005), p. 121.
  • Camoëns, en Portugal, ouvrait une carrière toute nouvelle, et s'acquérait une réputation qui dure encore parmi ses compatriotes, qui l'appellent le Virgile portugais.
    • Camoens in Portugal steered a new course, and acquired a reputation, which lasts still among his countrymen, who pay as much respect to his memory as the English to Milton.
    • Voltaire, in Essai Sur La Poésie Epique (1728) [An Essay on Epick Poetry], Ch. VI: Le Camoëns.
    • Note: the translation cited above is slightly innacurate: Virgile portugais actually translates as "Portuguese Virgil".
  • Camões soothed with it an exile's grief.

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