Os Lusíadas

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My own tale in its naked purity
Outdoes all boasting and hyperbole.

Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads) is a Portuguese epic poem by Luís de Camões. First printed in 1572, it is regarded as Portugal's national epic, much in the same way as Virgil's Aeneid was for the Ancient Romans, or Homer's Iliad and Odyssey for the Ancient Greeks.


Canto I[edit]

My Song shall spread where ever there are Men,
If Wit and Art will so much guide my Pen.
Cease All, whose Actions ancient Bards expressed:
A brighter Valour rises in the West.
Let us hear no more then of Ulysses and Aeneas and their long journeying, no more of Alexander and Trajan and their famous victories. My theme is the daring and renown of the Portuguese...
  • 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.
    • Arms and the Heroes, who from Lisbon's shore,
      Through 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 forced their way
      To the fair kingdoms of the rising day:
      What wars they waged, what seas, what dangers past,
      What glorious empire crowned their toils at last.
    • Stanza 1 (as translated by William Julius Mickle, 1776).
    • Variant translation by Landeg White (1997):
      • Arms are my theme, and those matchless heroes
        Who from Portugal's far western shores
        By oceans where none had ventured
        Voyaged to Taprobana and beyond,
        Enduring hazards and assaults
        Such as drew on more than human prowess
        Among far distant peoples, to proclaim
        A New Age and win undying fame.

  • Cantando espalharei por toda parte,
    Se a tanto me ajudar o engenho e arte.

A nobler hero's deeds demand my lays
Than ever adorned the song of ancient days;
Illustrious Gama, whom the waves obeyed,
And whose dread sword the fate of empire swayed.
  • 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.
    • Let us hear no more then of Ulysses and Aeneas and their long journeying, no more of Alexander and Trajan and their famous victories. My theme is the daring and renown of the Portuguese, to whom Neptune and Mars alike give homage. The heroes and the poets of old have had their day; another and loftier conception of valour has arisen.
    • Stanza 3 (as translated by William C. Atkinson, 1952).
    • William Julius Mickle's translation:
      • 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 braved on many a perilous 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 ever adorned the song of ancient days;
        Illustrious Gama, whom the waves obeyed,
        And whose dread sword the fate of empire swayed.
      • Compare Sir Richard Fanshawe's translation, lines 15–16:

  • E vós, Tágides minhas, pois criado
    Tendes em mi um novo engenho ardente,
    Se sempre em verso humilde celebrado
    Foi de mi vosso rio alegremente,
    Dai-me agora um som alto e sublimado,
    Um estilo grandíloco e corrente,
    Por que de vossas águas Febo ordene
    Que não tenham enveja às de Hipocrene.

    Dai-me uma fúria grande e sonorosa,
    E não de agreste avena ou frauta ruda,
    Mas de tuba canora e belicosa,
    Que o peito acende e a cor ao gesto muda;
    Dai-me igual canto aos feitos da famosa
    Gente vossa, que a Marte tanto ajuda;
    Que se espalhe e se cante no universo,
    Se tão sublime preço cabe em verso.

    • And you, fair nymphs of Tagus...
      And you, fair nymphs of Tagus, parent stream,
      If ever your meadows were my pastoral theme,
      While you have listened, and by moonshine seen
      My footsteps wander over your banks of green,
      O come auspicious, and the song inspire
      With all the boldness of your hero's fire:
      Deep and majestic let the numbers flow,
      And, rapt to heaven, with ardent fury glow;
      Unlike the verse that speaks the lover's grief,
      When heaving sighs afford their soft relief,
      And humble reeds bewail the shepherd's pain:
      But like the warlike trumpet be the strain
      To rouse the hero's ire; and far around,
      With equal rage, your warriors' deeds resound.
    • Stanzas 4–5 (tr. William Julius Mickle).

They now went sailing in the Ocean vast...
  • Já no largo Oceano navegavam,
    As inquietas ondas apartando;
    Os ventos brandamente respiravam,
    Das naus as velas côncavas inchando;
    Da branca escuma os mares se mostravam
    Cobertos, onde as proas vão cortando
    As marítimas águas consagradas,
    Que do gado de Proteu são cortadas.
    • They now went sailing in the Ocean vast,
      Parting the snarling Waves with crooked Bills:
      The whispering Zephyr breathed a gentle Blast,
      Which stealingly the spreading Canvas fills:
      With a white foam the Seas were overcast,
      The dancing Vessels cutting with their Keels
      The Waters of the Consecrated Deep,
      Where Protheu's Flocks their Rendezvouses keep.
    • Stanza 19 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).
      • William Julius Mickle's translation:
        Now, far from land, over Neptune's dread abode
        The Lusitanian fleet triumphant rode;
        Onward they traced the wide and lonesome main,
        Where changeful Proteus leads his scaly train;
        The dancing vanes before the zephyrs flowed,
        And their bold keels the trackless ocean plowed;
        Unplowed before, the green-tinged billows rose,
        And curled and whitened round the nodding prows.

  • 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,
      Flamed round his brows, outshone the diamond's blaze:
      His breath such gales of vital fragrance shed,
      As might, with sudden life, inspire the dead.
    • Stanza 22, lines 5–8 (tr. William Julius Mickle); of Jove.
      • Sir Richard Fanshawe's translation:
        An Oderiferous Ayre blew from his face,
        Able to breathe new life in a pale Ghost:
        A Scepter in his Hand, and his Head crowned
        With one stone, brighter than a Diamond.

The moon, full orbed, forsakes her watery cave,
And lifts her lovely head above the wave...
  • 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.
    Porém da armada a gente vigiava,
    Como por longo tempo costumava.
    • The moon, full orbed, forsakes her watery cave,
      And lifts her lovely head above the wave.

      The snowy splendours of her modest ray
      Stream over the glistening waves, and quivering play:
      Around her, glittering on the heaven's arched brow,
      Unnumbered stars, enclosed in azure, glow,
      Thick as the dew-drops of the April dawn,
      Or May-flowers crowding over the daisy-lawn:
      The canvas whitens in the silvery beam,
      And with a mild pale red the pendants gleam:
      The masts' tall shadows tremble over the deep;
      The peaceful winds a holy silence keep;
      The watchman's carol, echoed from the prows,
      Alone, at times, awakes the still repose.
    • Stanza 58 (as translated by William Julius Mickle).
    • Compare Homer, The Iliad, VIII. 551–555:
      • As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,
        Over heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light,
        When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,
        And not a cloud overcasts the solemn scene;
        Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
        And stars unnumbered gild the glowing pole,
        Over the dark trees a yellower verdure shed,
        And tip with silver every mountain's head;
        Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
        A flood of glory bursts from all the skies:
        The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight,
        Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light.

  • É fraqueza entre ovelhas ser leão.
    • To be a Lyon among Sheep, 'tis poor.
    • Stanza 68, line 8 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

Ah! where shall weary man take sanctuary,
where live his little span of life secure?
and escape of Heaven serene the indignant storms
that launch their thunders at us earthen worms?
  • Ó grandes e gravíssimos perigos!
    Ó caminho de vida nunca certo!

  • 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?

Canto II[edit]

What Care, what Wisdom, is of suffisance
The stroke of Secret mischief to prevent,
Unless the Sovereign Guardian from on high
Supply the strength of frail Humanity?
  • Onde reina a malícia, está o receio
    Que a faz imaginar no peito alheio.
    • Where malice reigns, there Jalousie doth nest,
      Which doth suppose it in Another's Brest.
    • Stanza 9, lines 7–8 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

  • Quem poderá do mal aparelhado
    Livrar-se sem perigo sabiamente,
    Se lá de cima a Guarda soberana
    Não acudir à fraca força humana?
    • What Care, what Wisdom, is of suffisance
      The stroke of Secret mischief to prevent,
      Unless the Sovereign Guardian from on high
      Supply the strength of frail Humanity?
    • Stanza 30, lines 5–8 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

  • 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,
      Raised by the wondrous skill of Ctesiphon,
      To sacrilegious flames was sacrificed
      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!
    • Stanza 113 (tr. Thomas Moore Musgrave).

Canto III[edit]

As crown to this wide empire, Europe's head,
Fair Lusitania smiles...
O foul disgrace, of knighthood lasting stain,
By men of arms a helpless lady slain!
  • Eis aqui, quase cume da cabeça
    De Europa toda, o Reino Lusitano,
    Onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa.
    • Proud over the rest, with splendid wealth arrayed,
      As crown to this wide empire, Europe's head,
      Fair Lusitania smiles, the western bound,
      Whose verdant breast the rolling waves surround.
    • Stanza 20, lines 1–3 (as translated by William Julius Mickle).

  • Esta é a ditosa pátria minha amada.
    • This is my happy land, my home, my pride.
    • Stanza 21, line 1 (as translated by Richard Francis Burton).

  • Tu só, tu, puro Amor...
    • Thou, only thou, pure Love...
    • Stanza 119, line 1 (tr. Richard Francis Burton).

  • Contra uma dama, ó peitos carniceiros,
    Feros vos amostrais, e cavaleiros?

  • Assim como a bonina, que cortada
    Antes do tempo foi, cândida e bela,
    Sendo das mãos lascivas maltratada
    Da menina que a trouxe na capela,
    O cheiro traz perdido e a cor murchada:
    Tal está morta a pálida donzela,
    Secas do rosto as rosas, e perdida
    A branca e viva cor, co'a doce vida.
    ... And pale in death the beauteous Inez lay.
    • As when a rose, ere-while of bloom so gay,
      Thrown from the careless virgin's breast away,
      Lies faded on the plain, the living red,
      The snowy white, and all its fragrance fled;
      So from her cheeks the roses died away,
      And pale in death the beauteous Inez lay.
    • Stanza 134 (tr. William Julius Mickle).
    • Sir Richard Fanshawe's translation:
      Like a sweet Rose (with party-colours fair)
      By Virgin's hand beheaded in the Bud
      To play withal, or prick into her Hair,
      When (severed from the stalk on which it stood)
      Both Scent and beauty vanish into Air:
      So lies the Damsel without breath, or Blood,
      Her Cheeks' fresh Roses ravished from the Root
      Both red and white, and the sweet life to boot.

  • Um fraco Rei faz fraca a forte gente.
    • A soft king makes a valiant people soft.
    • Stanza 138, line 8 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

  • 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?
    • 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!
    • Stanza 142 (tr. William Julius Mickle).

Canto IV[edit]

  • Ouviu-o o Douro e a terra Transtagana;
    Correu ao mar o Tejo duvidoso;
    E as mães, que o som terríbil escutaram,
    Aos peitos os filhinhos apertaram.
    • The Douro heard, and that land beyond where
      The troubled Tagus runs towards the sea
      And mothers terrified by its alarms
      Gathered their little children in their arms.
    • Stanza 28, lines 5–8 (tr. Keith Bosley)

  • As cousas árduas e lustrosas
    Se alcançam com trabalho e com fadiga.
    • 'Great are the dangers, great the toils,' he cried,
      'Ere glorious honours crown the victor's pride.'
    • Stanza 78, lines 3–4 (tr. William Julius 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.
    • Stanza 79, lines 5–8 (tr. Thomas Moore Musgrave).

To weigh our anchors from our native shore:
To dare new oceans never dared before;
Perhaps to see my native coast no more...
  • Certifico-te, ó Rei, que se contemplo
    Como fui destas praias apartado,
    Cheio dentro de dúvida e receio,
    Que apenas nos meus olhos ponho o freio.
    • A scene so solemn, and the tender woe
      Of parting friends, constrained my tears to flow.
      To weigh our anchors from our native shore—
      To dare new oceans never dared before—
      Perhaps to see my native coast no more—
      Forgive, O king, if as a man I feel,
      I bear no bosom of obdurate steel.
      (The godlike hero here suppressed the sigh,
      And wiped the tear-drop from his manly eye...
    • Stanza 87, lines 5–8 (as translated by William Julius Mickle).

  • Mas um velho d'aspeito venerando,
    Que ficava nas praias, entre a gente,
    Postos em nós os olhos, meneando
    Três vezes a cabeça, descontente,
    A voz pesada um pouco alevantando,
    Que nós no mar ouvimos claramente,
    C'um saber só de experiências feito,
    Tais palavras tirou do experto peito:

    Ó glória de mandar! Ó vã cobiça
    Desta vaidade, a quem chamamos Fama!

    O glory of commanding! O vain thirst
    Of that same empty nothing we call fame!
    • But an Old man of Venerable look
      (Standing upon the shore amongst the Crowds)
      His Eyes fixed upon us (on ship-board), shook
      His head three times, ore-cast with sorrows clouds:
      And (straining his Voice more, than well could brook
      His aged lungs: It rattled in our shrowds)
      Out of a science, practise did Attest,
      Let fly these words from an oraculous Breast:

      O Glory of commanding! O vain Thirst
      Of that same empty nothing we call Fame!

    • Stanzas 94–95 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe); The Old Man of Restelo.

  • Já que nesta gostosa vaidade
    Tanto enlevas a leve fantasia,
    Já que à bruta crueza e feridade
    Puseste nome esforço e valentia,
    Já que prezas em tanta quantidade
    O desprezo da vida, que devia
    De ser sempre estimada...
    • And say, has fame so dear, so dazzling charms?
      Must brutal fierceness and the trade of arms,
      Conquest, and laurels dipped in blood, be prized,
      While life is scorned, and all its joys despised?
    • Stanza 99 (tr. William Julius Mickle).

Canto V[edit]

  • 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 darkened air,
    Appalled, we saw a hideous phantom glare...
    • I spoke, when rising through the darkened air,
      Appalled, we saw a hideous phantom glare
      High and enormous over the flood he towered,
      And athwart our way with sullen aspect lowered
      An earthy paleness over his cheeks was spread,
      Erect uprose his hairs of withered red;
      Writhing to speak, his sable lips disclose,
      Sharp and disjoined, his gnashing teeth's blue rows;
      His haggard beard flowed quivering on the wind,
      Revenge and horror in his mien combined;
      His clouded front, by withering lightnings scared,
      The inward anguish of his soul declared.
      His red eyes, glowing from their dusky caves,
      Shot livid fires: far echoing over the waves
      His voice resounded, as the caverned shore
      With hollow groan repeats the tempest's roar.
      Cold gliding horrors thrilled each hero's breast,
      Our bristling hair and tottering knees confessed
      Wild dread, the while with visage ghastly wan,
      His black lips trembling, thus the fiend began...
    • Stanzas 39–40 (tr. William Julius 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.
    • Comest thou to penetrate the mysteries
      Of nature, and this humid element,
      Which to no mortal yet have been revealed,
      Whatever his merit, or his deathless fame?
      But listen! Thou shalt know what punishments
      For thy bold daring are by me prepared,
      Which on the spacious deep thou shalt endure,
      And amidst the regions thou shalt yet subdue
      By force of arms.
    • Stanza 42 (tr. Thomas Moore Musgrave).

  • Ó que não sei de nojo como o conte!
    Que, crendo ter nos braços quem amava,
    Abraçado me achei com um duro monte
    De áspero mato e de espessura brava.
    Estando com um penedo fronte a fronte,
    Que eu pelo rosto angélico apertava
    Não fiquei homem não, mas mudo e quedo,
    E junto dum penedo outro penedo.
    • O, how I choke in uttering my disgrace!
      Thinking I Her embraced whom I did seek,
      A Mountain hard I found I did embrace.
      Overgrown with Trees and Bushes nothing sleek.
      Thus (grappling with a Mountain face to face,
      Which I stood pressing for her Angel's cheek)
      I was no Man: No but a stupid Block
      And grew unto a Rock another Rock.
    • Stanza 56 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

  • Assim contava, e com um medonho choro
    Súbito diante os olhos se apartou;
    Desfez-se a nuvem negra, e com um sonoro
    Bramido muito longe o mar soou.
    • He spoke, and deep a lengthened sigh he drew,
      A doleful sound, and vanished from the view:
      The frightened billows gave a rolling swell,
      And, distant far, prolonged the dismal yell;
      Faint and more faint the howling echoes die,
      And the black cloud dispersing leaves the sky.
    • Stanza 60, lines 1–4 (tr. William Julius Mickle).

  • A verdade que eu conto nua e pura
    Vence toda grandíloqua escritura.
    • My own tale in its naked purity
      Outdoes all boasting and hyperbole.
    • Stanza 89, lines 7–8 (tr. Landeg White)

How sweet is Praise, and justly purchased Glory,
By one's own Actions, when to Heaven they soar!
  • Quão doce é o louvor e a justa glória
    Dos próprios feitos, quando são soados!
    Qualquer nobre trabalha que em memória
    Vença ou iguale os grandes já passados.
    As invejas da ilustre e alheia história
    Fazem mil vezes feitos sublimados.
    Quem valerosas obras exercita,
    Louvor alheio muito o esperta e incita.
    • How sweet is Praise, and justly purchased Glory,
      By one's own Actions, when to Heaven they soar!
      Each nobler Soul will strain, to have his story,
      Match, if not darken, All That went before.
      Envy of other's Fame, not transitory,
      Screws up illustrious Actions more, and more.
      Such, as contend in honorable deeds,
      The Spur of high Applause incites their speeds.
    • Stanza 92 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).
      • William Julius Mickle's translation:
        What boundless joys are thine, O just Renown,
        Thou hope of Virtue, and her noblest crown!
        By thee the seeds of conscious worth are fired,
        Hero by hero, fame by fame inspired:
        Without thine aid how soon the hero dies!
        By thee upborne, his name ascends the skies.

  • Sem vergonha o não digo, que a razão
    De algum não ser por versos excelente,
    É não se ver prezado o verso e rima,
    Porque quem não sabe arte, não na estima.
    • I speak it to our shame; the cause no grand
      Poets adorn our Countrey, is the small
      Incouragement to such: For how can He
      Esteem, That understands not Poetry?
    • Stanza 97, lines 5–8 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

Canto VI[edit]

  • No mais interno fundo das profundas
    Cavernas altas, onde o mar se esconde,
    Lá donde as ondas saem furibundas,
    Quando às iras do vento o mar responde.
    • In the inmost deep of the profound
      High caverns, where the sea doth hide him,
      There, whence the waves come forth in madness,
      When to the wraths of wind the sea respondeth.
    • Stanza 8, lines 1–4 (tr. Ezra Pound)

... in few years (I fear) of Heaven and Sea, / Men, will be called Gods; and but men, We.
  • Vistes que, com grandíssima ousadia,
    Foram já cometer o Céu supremo;
    Vistes aquela insana fantasia
    De tentarem o mar com vela e remo;
    Vistes, e ainda vemos cada dia,
    Soberbas e insolências tais, que temo
    Que do Mar e do Céu, em poucos anos,
    Venham Deuses a ser, e nós, humanos.
    • You saw, with what unheard of Insolence
      The highest Heavens they did invade of yore:
      You saw, how (against Reason, against sense)
      They did invade the Sea with Sail and Oar:
      Actions so Proud, so daring, so immense,
      You saw; and We see daily more, and more:
      That in few years (I fear) of Heaven and Sea,
      Men, will be called Gods; and but men, We.
    • Stanza 29 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe); Council of the Sea-Gods.
    • Compare ‎Landeg White's translation:
      • ...very soon, I promise you,
        Of the vast oceans and the heavenly span
        They'll be the gods and you and I but Man.

Canto VII[edit]

My Pen in this, my Sword in that hand hold.
  • N'uma mão sempre a espada, e n'outra a pena.
    • My Pen in this, my Sword in that hand hold.
    • Stanza 79, line 8 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

Canto VIII[edit]

  • 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 sceptered power with justice, should select,
      To aid his counsels, Sages most endowed
      With skill and conscientious rectitude!
      He who is placed upon the Royal Throne,
      For knowledge of the high concerns of State,
      Must, on the wisdom and fidelity
      Of his chief Counselors, mainly rely.
    • Stanza 54 (tr. Thomas Moore Musgrave).

  • Veja agora o juízo curioso
    Quanto no rico, assim como no pobre,
    Pode o vil interesse e sede inimiga
    Do dinheiro, que a tudo nos obriga.
    • Now let the judging Reader mark what Rex
      The Idol Gold (which all the World adoreth)
      Plays both in Poor and Rich: by Money's Thurst
      All Laws and Ties (Divine, and Human) burst.
    • Stanza 96, lines 5–8 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

Canto IX[edit]

Island of Love (Canto IX)
  • Ó que famintos beijos na floresta,
    E que mimoso choro que soava!
    Que afagos tão suaves, que ira honesta,
    Que em risinhos alegres se tornava!
    O que mais passam na manhã, e na sesta,
    Que Vénus com prazeres inflamava,
    Melhor é experimentá-lo que julgá-lo,
    Mas julgue-o quem não pode experimentá-lo.
    • O what devouring Kisses (multiplied)
      What pretty whimperings, did the Grove repeat!
      What flattering Force! What Anger which did chide
      Itself, and laught when it began to threat!
      What more than this the blushing Morning spied,
      And Venus (adding Hers to the Noon's heat)
      Is better tried, than guessed, I must confess:
      But Those who cannot try it, let them guess.
    • Stanza 83 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

  • Porque essas honras vãs, esse ouro puro
    Verdadeiro valor não dão à gente:
    Melhor é, merecê-los sem os ter,
    Que possuí-los sem os merecer.
    • For these vain Honours, this false Gold, give price
      (Unless he have it in himself) to none,
      Better deserve them, and to go without;
      Than have them undeserved
      , without doubt.
    • Stanza 93, lines 5–8 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe).

Canto X[edit]

  • Vão os anos decendo, e já do Estio
    Há pouco que passar até o Outono;
    A Fortuna me faz o engenho frio,
    Do qual já não me jacto nem me abono;
    Os desgostos me vão levando ao rio
    Do negro esquecimento e eterno sono:
    Mas tu me dá que cumpra, ó grão Rainha
    Das Musas, co que quero à nação minha!
    • No more the summer of my life remains,
      My autumn's lengthening evenings chill my veins;
      Down the black stream of years by woes on woes
      Winged on, I hasten to the tomb's repose
      The port whose deep, dark bottom shall detain
      My anchor, never to be weighed again,
      Never on other sea of life to steer
      The human course.—Yet thou, O goddess, hear,
      Yet let me live, though round my silvered head
      Misfortune's bitterest rage unpitying shed
      Her coldest storms; yet let me live to crown
      The song that boasts my nation's proud renown.
    • Stanza 9 (as translated by William Julius Mickle).

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.
  • 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 power, achieves
      No victory; but a true victory
      Is gained, when justice triumphs and prevails.
    • Stanza 58, lines 5–8 (tr. Thomas Moore Musgrave).
      • Sir Richard Fanshawe's translation:
        To trample on weak Right with a prowd Foot,
        Presuming on the power, and upper place,
        No Conquest is: He conquers with Renown
        Who dares be just even though it lose a Crown.
      • Richard Francis Burton's translation:
        Who works vile injury with unreasoning trust
        in force, and footing lent by rank and place,
        conquereth nothing, the true Conqueror he
        who dares do naked Justice fair and free.
      • Joaquim 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.
    • Stanza 145 (as translated by Richard Francis Burton).
      • William Julius Mickle's translation:
        Enough, my muse, thy wearied wing no more
        Must to the seat of Jove triumphant soar.
        Chilled by my nation's cold neglect, thy fires
        Glow bold no more, and all thy rage expires.

Let your Advisers be experienced All,
Such as have seen the World, and studied man...
  • 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.
    • Great Sir, let never the astonisht [Gall]]
      The English, German, and Italian,
      Have cause to say, the fainting Portugal
      Could not advance the Great Work he began.
      Let your Advisers be experienced All,
      Such as have seen the World, and studied man.
      For, though in Science much contained bee,
      In special cases Practice more doth see.
    • Stanza 152 (tr. Sir Richard Fanshawe); the poet advising King Sebastian of Portugal, then eighteen years of age.
      • Richard Francis Burton's translation:
        So do, my Sire! that sons of famous lands
        Britons, Italians, Germans and the Gaul,
        never vaunt that might of mortal man commands
        thy Portingals, who should command them all.
        Take counsel only with experienced hands,
        men who long years, long moons, saw rise and fall:
        Many for general science fitness show,
        yet the particulars none save experts know.

  • Nem me falta na vida honesto estudo,
    Com longa experiência misturado,
    Nem engenho, que aqui vereis presente,
    Cousas que juntas se acham raramente.
    • Right honest studies my career can show
      with long Experience blent as best beseems,
      and Genius here presented for thy view;—
      gifts, that conjoined appertain to few.
    • Stanza 154, lines 5–8 (tr. Richard Francis Burton).

I, then inspired, the wondering world should see
Great Ammon's warlike son revived in thee;
Revived unenvious of the Muse's flame
That over the world resounds Pelides' name.
  • 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 Heavven 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 doing such derring-do, that never 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 over Earth, I swear, so famed shall make,
      an Alexander shall in Thee be shown
      who of Achilles envy never shall own.

    • Stanzas 155–156 (as translated by Richard Francis Burton); exhortation to King Sebastian of Portugal. (Hear the last lines [in Portuguese])
      • Sir Richard Fanshawe's translation:
        An arm (to serve you) trained in war have I,
        A soul (to sing you) to the Muses bent:
        Only I want acceptance in your eye,
        Who owe to Virtue fair encouragement.
        If Heaven afford me, this; and you, some high
        And brave exploit; worthy a monument
        Of verse, as my prophetic thoughts presage,
        By what I see now in your tender age:

        Making Mount-Atlas tremble at your sight,
        More than at that of dire Medusa's head;
        Or putting in Ampelusian fields to flight
        The Moors in Fez and black Morocco bred;
        I'll gage my Muse (then in esteem and plight)
        You in such manner through the World shall spread,
        That Alexander shall in you respire,
        Without envying the Meonian Lyre.

      • William Julius Mickle's paraphrase:
        But such the deeds thy radiant morn portends,
        Awed by thy frown even now old Atlas bends
        His hoary head, and Ampeluza's fields
        Expect thy sounding steeds and rattling shields.
        And shall these deeds unsung, unknown, expire?
        Oh, would thy smiles relume my fainting ire!
        I, then inspired, the wondering world should see
        Great Ammon's warlike son revived in thee;
        Revived unenvious of the Muse's flame
        That over the world resounds Pelides' name.

Quotes about Os Lusíadas[edit]

  • 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, Introduction to Romance languages and literature (1961), p. 185.

  • the first epic poem which in its grandeur and its universality speaks for the modern world.
    • Maurice Bowra, "Camoes and the Epic of Portugal", in From Virgil to Milton (1945).

  • Camoes' concern is not intellectual but aesthetic; his gods and goddesses come not from philosophy but from poetry.

  • El tesoro del Luso.

  • The first successful attempt in modern Europe to construct an epic poem on the ancient model.
    • Henry Hallam, Introduction to the Literature of Europe (1847), p. 107

Camoens' poem has something of the charm of the Odyssey and of the magnificence of the Aeneid.
~ Montesquieu
  • 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, 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.

  • Dr. Johnson told me in 1772, that, about twenty years before that time, he himself had a design to translate the Lusiad, of the merit of which he spoke highly, but had been prevented by a number of other engagements.

  • ... chantés par le Camoèns, dont le poème fait sentir quelque chose des charmes de l'Odyssée et de la magnificence de l'Enéide.

  • A sort of epic poetry unheard of before. There no bloody wars are fought, no heroes wounded in a thousand different ways; no woman enticed away, and the world overturned for her cause; no empire founded; in short, nothing of what was deemed before the only subject of poetry.
    • Voltaire, An Essay on Epic Poetry (1727), 'Camouens'.

External links[edit]