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p. 222



Description of the pictures, given by Paulus. The heroes of Portugal, from Lusus, one of the companions of Bacchus (who gave his name to Portugal), and Ulysses, the founder of Lisbon, down to Don Pedro and Don Henrique (Henry), the conquerors of Ceuta, are all represented in the portraits of Gama, and are characterized by appropriate verses. Meanwhile the zamorim has recourse to the oracles of his false gods, who make him acquainted with the future dominion of the Portuguese over India, and the consequent ruin of his empire. The Mohammedan Arabs conspire against the Portuguese. The zamorim questions the truth of Gama’s statement, and charges him with being captain of a band of pirates. Gama is obliged to give up to the Indians the whole of his merchandise as ransom, when he obtains permission to re-embark. He seizes several merchants of Calicut, whom he detains on board his ship as hostages for his two factors, who were on land to sell his merchandise. He afterwards liberates the natives, whom he exchanges for his two companions. In Mickle’s translation this portion of the original is omitted, and the factors are released in consequence of a victory gained by Gama.

WITH eye unmov’d the silent CATUAL 1 view’d
The pictur’d sire 2 with seeming life endu’d;
A verdant vine-bough waving in his right,
Smooth How’d his sweepy beard of glossy white,
When thus, as swift the Moor unfolds the word,
The valiant Paulus to the Indian lord:--

  "Bold though these figures frown, yet bolder far
These godlike heroes shin’d in ancient war.

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In that hoar sire, of mien serene, august,
Lusus behold, no robber-chief unjust;
His cluster’d bough--the same which Bacchus bore 1--
He waves, the emblem of his care of yore;
The friend of savage man, to Bacchus dear,
The son of Bacchus, or the bold compeer,
What time his yellow locks with vine-leaves curl’d,
The youthful god subdued the savage world,
Bade vineyards glisten o’er the dreary waste,
And humaniz’d the nations as he pass’d.
Lusus, the lov’d companion of the god,
In Spain’s fair bosom fix’d his last abode,
Our kingdom founded, and illustrious reign’d
In those fair lawns, the bless’d Elysium feign’d, 2

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Where, winding oft, the Guadiana roves,
And. Douro murmurs through the flow’ry groves.
Here, with his bones, he left his deathless fame,
And Lusitania’s clime shall ever bear his name.
That other chief th’ embroider’d silk displays,
Toss’d o’er the deep whole years of weary days,
On Tago’s banks, at last, his vows he paid:
To wisdom’s godlike power, the Jove-born maid, 1
Who fir’d his lips with eloquence divine,
On Tago’s banks he rear’d the hallow’d shrine.
Ulysses he, though fated to destroy,
On Asian ground, the heav’n-built towers of Troy, 2
On Europe’s strand, more grateful to the skies,
He bade th’ eternal walls of Lisbon rise." 3

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  "But who that godlike terror of the plain,
Who strews the smoking field with heaps of slain?
What num’rous legions fly in dire dismay,
Whose standards wide the eagle’s wings display?"
The pagan asks: the brother chief 1 replies:--
"Unconquer’d deem’d, proud Rome’s dread standard flies.
His crook thrown by, fir’d by his nation’s woes,
The hero-shepherd Viriatus rose;
His country sav’d proclaim’d his warlike fame,
And Rome’s wide empire trembled at his name.
That gen’rous pride which Rome to Pyrrhus bore, 2
To him they show’d not; for they fear’d him more.
Not on the field o’ercome by manly force,
Peaceful he slept; and now, a murder’d corse,,
By treason slain, he lay. How stern, behold,
That other hero, firm, erect, and bold:
The power by which he boasted he divin’d,
Beside him pictur’d stands, the milk-white hind:
Injur’d by Rome, the stern Sertorius fled
To Tago’s shore, and Lusus’ offspring led;
Their worth he knew; in scatter-’d flight he drove
The standards painted with the birds of Jove.
And lo, the flag whose shining colours own
The glorious founder of the Lusian throne!
Some deem the warrior of Hungarian race, 3
Some from Lorraine the godlike hero trace.
From Tagus’ banks the haughty Moor expell’d,
Galicia’s sons, and Leon’s warriors quell’d,
To weeping Salem’s 4 ever-hallow’d meads,
His warlike bands the holy Henry leads;
By holy war to sanctify his crown,
And, to his latest race, auspicious waft it down."

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  "And who this awful chief?" aloud exclaims
The wond’ring regent. "O’er the field he flames
In dazzling steel; where’er he bends his course
The battle sinks beneath his headlong force:
Against his troops, though few, the num’rous foes
In vain their spears and tow’ry walls oppose.
With smoking blood his armour sprinkled o’er,
High to the knees his courser paws in gore:
O’er crowns and blood-stain’d ensigns scatter’d round
He rides; his courser’s brazen hoofs resound."
"In that great chief," the second GAMA cries,
"The first Alonzo 1 strikes thy wond’ring eyes.
From Lusus’ realm the pagan Moors he drove;
Heav’n, whom he lov’d, bestow’d on him such love,
Beneath him, bleeding of its mortal wound,
The Moorish strength lay prostrate on the ground.
Nor Ammon’s son, nor greater Julius dar’d
With troops so few, with hosts so num’rous warr’d:
Nor less shall Fame the subject heroes own:
Behold that hoary warrior’s rageful frown!
On his young pupil’s flight 2 his burning eyes
He darts, and, ‘Turn thy flying host,’ he cries,
‘Back to the field!’ The vet’ran and the boy
Back to the field exult with furious joy:
Their ranks mow’d down, the boastful foe recedes,
The vanquish’d triumph, and the victor bleeds.
Again, that mirror of unshaken faith,
Egaz behold, a chief self-doom’d to death. 3

p. 227

Beneath Castilia’s sword his monarch lay;
Homage he vow’d his helpless king should pay;
His haughty king reliev’d, the treaty spurns,
With conscious pride the noble Egaz burns;
His comely spouse and infant race he leads,
Himself the same, in sentenced felons’ weeds,
Around their necks the knotted halters bound,
With naked feet they tread the flinty ground;
And, prostrate now before Castilia’s throne,
Their offer’d lives their monarch’s pride atone.
Ah Rome! no more thy gen’rous consul boast. 1
Whose ’born submission sav’d his ruin’d host:
No father’s woes assail’d his stedfast mind;
The dearest ties the Lusian chief resign’d.

  "There, by the stream, a town besieged behold,
The Moorish tents the shatter’d walls enfold.
Fierce as the lion from the covert springs,
When hunger gives his rage the whirlwind’s wings;
From ambush, lo, the valiant Fuaz pours,
And whelms in sudden rout th’ astonish’d Moors.
The Moorish king 2 in captive chains he sends;
And, low at Lisbon’s throne, the royal captive bends.
Fuaz again the artist’s skill displays;
Far o’er the ocean shine his ensign’s rays:
In crackling flames the Moorish galleys fly,
And the red blaze ascends the blushing sky:
O’er Avila’s high steep the flames aspire,
And wrap the forests in a sheet of fire:

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There seem the waves beneath the prows to boil;
And distant, far around for many a mile,
The glassy deep reflects the ruddy blaze;
Far on the edge the yellow light decays,
And blends with hov’ring blackness. Great and dread
Thus shone the day when first the combat bled,
The first our heroes battled on the main,
The glorious prelude of our naval reign,
Which, now the waves beyond the burning zone,
And northern Greenland’s frost-bound billows own.
Again behold brave Fuaz dares the fight!
O’erpower’d he sinks beneath the Moorish might;
Smiling in death the martyr-hero lies,
And lo, his soul triumphant mounts the skies.
Here now, behold, in warlike pomp portray’d,
A foreign navy brings the pious aid. 1
Lo, marching from the decks the squadrons spread,
Strange their attire, their aspect firm and dread.
The holy cross their ensigns bold display,
To Salem’s aid they plough’d the wat’ry way:
Yet first, the cause the same, on Tago’s shore
They dye their maiden swords in pagan gore.
Proud stood the Moor on Lisbon’s warlike towers,
From Lisbon’s walls they drive the Moorish powers:
Amid the thickest of the glorious fight,
Lo, Henry falls, a gallant German knight,
A martyr falls: that holy tomb behold,
There waves the blossom’d palm, the boughs of gold:
O’er Henry’s grave the sacred plant arose,
And from the leaves, 2 Heav’n’s gift, gay health redundant flows.

  "Aloft, unfurl!" the valiant Paulus cries.
Instant, new wars on new-spread ensigns rise

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"In robes of white behold a priest advance! 1
His sword in splinters smites the Moorish lance:
Arronchez won revenges Lira’s fall:
And lo, on fair Savilia’s batter’d wall,
How boldly calm, amid the crashing spears,
That hero-form the Lusian standard rears.
There bleeds the war on fair Vandalia’s plain:
Lo, rushing through the Moors, o’er hills of slain
The hero rides, and proves by genuine claim
The son of Egas, 2 and his worth the same.
Pierc’d by his dart the standard-bearer dies;
Beneath his feet the Moorish standard lies:
High o’er the field, behold the glorious blaze
The victor-youth the Lusian flag displays.
Lo, while the moon through midnight azure rides,
From the high wall adown his spear-staff glides
The dauntless Gerald: 3 in his left he bears
Two watchmen’s heads, his right the falchion rears:
The gate he opens, swift from ambush rise
His ready bands, the city falls his prize:
Evora still the grateful honour pays,
Her banner’d flag the mighty deed displays:
There frowns the hero; in his left he bears
The two cold heads, his right the falchion rears.

p. 230

Wrong’d by his king, 1 and burning for revenge,
Behold his arms that proud Castilian change;
The Moorish buckler on his breast he bears,
And leads the fiercest of the pagan spears.
Abrantes falls beneath his raging force,
And now to Tagus bends his furious course.
Another fate he met on Tagus’ shore,
Brave Lopez from his brows the laurels tore;
His bleeding army strew’d the thirsty ground,
And captive chains the rageful leader bound.
Resplendent far that holy chief behold!
Aside he throws the sacred staff of gold,
And wields the spear of steel. How bold advance
The num’rous Moors, and with the rested lance
Hem round the trembling Lusians. Calm and bold
Still towers the priest, and lo, the skies unfold: 2
Cheer’d by the vision, brighter than the day,
The Lusians trample down the dread array
Of Hagar’s legions: on the reeking plain
Low, with their slaves, four haughty kings lie slain.
In vain Alcazar rears her brazen walls,
Before his rushing host Alcazar falls.
There, by his altar, now the hero shines,
And, with the warrior’s palm, his mitre twines.
That chief behold: though proud Castilia’s host
He leads, his birth shall Tagus ever boast.
As a pent flood bursts headlong o’er the strand
So pours his fury o’er Algarbia’s land:
Nor rampir’d town, nor castled rock afford
The refuge of defence from Payo’s sword.

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By night-veil’d art proud Sylves falls his prey,
And Tavila’s high walls, at middle day,
Fearless he scales: her streets in blood deplore
The seven brave hunters murder’d by the Moor. 1
These three bold knights how dread! 2 Thro’ Spain and France
At joust and tourney with the tilted lance
Victors they rode: Castilia’s court beheld
Her peers o’erthrown; the peers with rancour swell’d:
The bravest of the three their swords surround;
Brave Ribeir strews them vanquish’d o’er the ground.
Now let thy thoughts, all wonder and on fire,
That darling son of warlike Fame admire.
Prostrate at proud Castilia’s monarch’s feet
His land lies trembling: lo, the nobles meet:
Softly they seem to breathe, and forward bend
The servile neck; each eye distrusts his friend;
Fearful each tongue to speak; each bosom cold:
When, colour’d with stern rage, erect and bold,
The hero rises: ’Here no foreign throne
Shall fix its base; my native king alone
Shall reign.’ Then, rushing to the fight, he leads;
Low, vanquish’d in the dust, Castilia bleeds.
Where proudest hope might deem it vain to dare,
God led him on, and crown’d the glorious war.

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Though fierce, as num’rous, are the hosts that dwell
By Betis’ stream, these hosts before him fell.
The fight behold: while absent from his bands,
Press’d on the step of flight his army stands,
To call the chief a herald speeds away:
Low, on his knees, the gallant chief survey!
He pours his soul, with lifted hands implores,
And. Heav’n’s assisting arm, inspir’d, adores.
Panting, and pale, the herald urges speed:
With holy trust of victory decreed,
Careless he answers, ‘Nothing urgent calls:’
And soon the bleeding foe before him falls.
To Numa, thus, the pale patricians fled--
‘The hostile squadrons o’er the kingdom spread!’
They cry; unmov’d, the holy king replies--
‘And I, behold, am off’ring sacrifice!’ 1
Earnest, I see thy wond’ring eyes inquire
Who this illustrious chief, his country’s sire?
The Lusian Scipio well might speak his fame,
But nobler Nunio shines a greater name: 2
On earth’s green bosom, or on ocean grey,
A greater never shall the sun survey.

  "Known by the silver cross, and sable shield,
Two Knights of Malta 3 there command the field;

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From Tago’s banks they drive the fleecy prey,
And the tir’d ox lows on his weary way:
When, as the falcon through the forest glade
Darts on the lev’ret, from the brown-wood shade
Darts Roderic on their rear; in scatter’d flight
They leave the goodly herds the victor’s right.
Again, behold, in gore he bathes his sword;
His captive friend, 1 to liberty restor’d,
Glows to review the cause that wrought his woe,
The cause, his loyalty, as taintless snow.
Here treason’s well-earn’d meed allures thine eyes, 2
Low, grovelling in the dust, the traitor dies;
Great Elvas gave the blow. Again, behold,
Chariot and steed in purple slaughter roll’d
Great Elvas triumphs; wide o’er Xeres’ plain
Around him reeks the noblest blood of Spain.

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  "Here Lisbon’s spacious harbour meets the view:
How vast the foe’s, the Lusian fleet how few!
Castile’s proud war-ships, circling round, enclose
The Lusian galleys; through their thund’ring rows,
Fierce pressing on, Pereira fearless rides,
His hook’d irons grasp the adm’ral’s sides:
Confusion maddens: on the dreadless knight
Castilia’s navy pours its gather’d might:
Pereira dies, their self-devoted prey,
And safe the Lusian galleys speed away. 1

  "Lo, where the lemon-trees from yon green hill
Throw their cool shadows o’er the crystal rill;
There twice two hundred fierce Castilian foes
Twice eight, forlorn, of Lusian race enclose;
Forlorn they seem; but taintless flow’d their blood
From those three hundred who of old withstood;
Withstood, and from a thousand Romans tore
The victor-wreath, what time the shepherd 2 bore
The leader’s staff of Lusus: equal flame
Inspir’d these few, 3 their victory the same.
Though twenty lances brave each single spear,
Never the foes superior might to fear
Is our inheritance, our native right,
Well tried, well prov’d in many a dreadful fight.

  "That dauntless earl behold; on Libya’s coast,
Far from the succour of the Lusian host, 4

p. 235

Twice hard besieg’d, he holds the Ceutan towers
Against the banded might of Afric’s powers.
That other earl; 1--behold the port he bore,
So, trod stern Mars on Thracia’s hills of yore.
What groves of spears Alcazar’s gates surround!
There Afric’s nations blacken o’er the ground.
A thousand ensigns, glitt’ring to the day,
The waning moon’s slant silver horns display.
In vain their rage; no gate, no turret falls,
The brave De Vian guards Alcazar’s walls.
In hopeless conflict lost his king appears;
Amid the thickest of the Moorish spears
Plunges bold Vian: in the glorious strife
He dies, and dying saves his sov’reign’s life.

  "Illustrious, lo, two brother-heroes shine, 2
Their birth, their deeds, adorn the royal line;
To ev’ry king of princely Europe known,
In ev’ry court the gallant Pedro shone.
The glorious Henry 3--kindling at his name
Behold my sailors’ eyes all sparkle flame!

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Henry the chief, who first, by Heav’n inspir’d,
To deeds unknown before, the sailor fir’d,
The conscious sailor left the sight of shore,
And dar’d new oceans, never plough’d before.
The various wealth of ev’ry distant land
He bade his fleets explore, his fleets command.
The ocean’s great discoverer he shines;
Nor less his honours in the martial lines:
The painted flag the cloud-wrapt siege displays,
There Ceuta’s rocking wall its trust betrays.
Black yawns the breach; the point of many a spear
Gleams through the smoke; loud shouts astound the ear.
Whose step first trod the dreadful pass? whose sword
Hew’d its dark way, first with the foe begor’d?
’Twas thine, O glorious Henry, first to dare
The dreadful pass, and thine to close the war.
Taught by his might, and humbled in her gore,
The boastful pride of Afric tower’d no more.

  "Num’rous though these, more num’rous warriors shine
Th’ illustrious glory of the Lusian line.
But ah, forlorn, what shame to barb’rous pride! 1
Friendless the master of the pencil died;

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Immortal fame his deathless labours gave;
Poor man, he sunk neglected to the grave!"

  The gallant Paulus faithful thus explain’d
The various deeds the pictur’d flags contain’d.
Still o’er and o’er, and still again untir’d,
The wond’ring regent of the wars inquir’d:
Still wond’ring, heard the various pleasing tale,
Till o’er the decks cold sigh’d the ev’ning gale:
The falling darkness dimm’d the eastern shore,
And twilight hover’d o’er the billows hoar
Far to the west, when, with his noble band,
The thoughtful regent sought his native strand.

  O’er the tall mountain-forest’s waving boughs
Aslant, the new moon’s slender horns arose;
Near her pale chariot shone a twinkling star,
And, save the murm’ring of the wave afar,
Deep-brooding silence reign’d; each labour clos’d,
In sleep’s soft arms the sons of toil repos’d.
And now, no more the moon her glimpses shed,
A sudden, black-wing’d cloud the sky o’erspread,
A sullen murmur through the woodland groan’d,
In woe-swoll’n sighs the hollow winds bemoan’d:
Borne on the plaintive gale, a patt’ring shower
Increas’d the horrors of the evil hour.

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Thus, when the God of earthquakes rocks the ground,
He gives the prelude in a dreary sound;
O’er nature’s face a horrid gloom he throws,
With dismal note the cock unusual crows,
A shrill-voic’d howling trembles thro’ the air,
As passing ghosts were weeping in despair;
In dismal yells the dogs confess their fear,
And shiv’ring, own some dreadful presence near.
So, lower’d the night, the sullen howl the same,
And, ’mid the black-wing’d gloom, stern Bacchus came;
The form, and garb of Hagar’s son he took,
The ghost-like aspect, and the threat’ning look. 1
Then, o’er the pillow of a furious priest,
Whose burning zeal the Koran’s lore profess’d,
Reveal’d he stood, conspicuous in a dream,
His semblance shining, as the moon’s pale gleam:
"And guard," he cries, "my son, O timely guard,
Timely defeat the dreadful snare prepar’d:
And canst thou, careless, unaffected, sleep,
While these stern, lawless rovers of the deep
Fix on thy native shore a foreign throne,
Before whose steps thy latest race shall groan!"
He spoke; cold horror shook the Moorish priest;
He wakes, but soon reclines in wonted rest:
An airy phantom of the slumb’ring brain
He deem’d the vision; when the fiend again,
With sterner mien, and fiercer accent spoke:
"Oh faithless! worthy of the foreign yoke!
And know’st thou not thy prophet sent by Heav’n,
By whom the Koran’s sacred lore was giv’n,
God’s chief est gift to men: and must I leave
The bowers of Paradise, for you to grieve,
For you to watch, while, thoughtless of your woe,
Ye sleep, the careless victims of the foe;
The foe, whose rage will soon with cruel joy,
If unoppos’d, my sacred shrines destroy?
Then, while kind Heav’n th’ auspicious hour bestows,
Let ev’ry nerve their infant strength oppose.

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When, softly usher’d by the milky dawn,
The sun first rises 1 o’er the daisied lawn,
His silver lustre, as the shining dew
Of radiance mild, unhurt the eye may view:
But, when on high the noon-tide flaming rays
Give all the force of living fire to blaze,

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A giddy darkness strikes the conquer’d sight,
That dares, in all his glow, the lord of light.
Such, if on India’s soil the tender shoot
Of these proud cedars fly the stubborn root,
Such, shall your power before them sink decay’d,
And India’s strength shall wither in their shade."

  He spoke; and, instant from his vot’ry’s bed
Together with repose, the demon fled;
Again cold horror shook the zealot’s frame,
And all his hatred of Messiah’s name
Burn’d in his venom’d heart, while, veil’d in night,
Right to the palace sped the demon’s flight.
Sleepless the king he found, in dubious thought;
His conscious fraud a thousand terrors brought:
All gloomy as the hour, around him stand,
With haggard looks, the hoary Magi band: 1
To trace what fates on India’s wide domain
Attend the rovers from unheard-of Spain,
Prepar’d, in dark futurity, to prove
The hell-taught rituals of infernal Jove:
Mutt’ring their charms, and spells of dreary sound,
With naked feet they beat the hollow ground;
Blue gleams the altar’s flame along the walls,
With dismal, hollow groans the victim falls;
With earnest eyes the priestly band explore
The entrails, throbbing in the living gore.
And lo, permitted by the power divine,
The hov’ring demon gives the dreadful sign. 2

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Here furious War her gleamy falchion draws,
Here lean-ribb’d Famine writhes her falling jaws;
Dire as the fiery pestilential star
Darting his eyes, high on his trophied car,
Stern Tyranny sweeps wide o’er India’s ground;
On vulture-wings fierce Rapine hovers round;
Ills after ills, and India’s fetter’d might,
Th’ eternal yoke. 1 Loud shrieking at the sight,
The starting wizards from the altar fly,
And silent horror glares in ev’ry eye:
Pale stands the monarch, lost in cold dismay,
And, now impatient, waits the ling’ring day.

  With gloomy aspect rose the ling’ring dawn,
And dropping tears How’d slowly o’er the lawn;
The Moorish priest, with fear and vengeance fraught,
Soon as the light appear’d his kindred sought;
Appall’d, and trembling with ungen’rous fear,
In secret council met, his tale they hear;
As, check’d by terror or impell’d by hate,
Of various means they ponder and debate,

p. 242

Against the Lusian train what arts employ,
By force to slaughter, or by fraud destroy;
Now black, now pale, their bearded cheeks appear,
As boiling rage prevails, or boding fear;
Beneath their shady brows, their eye-balls roll,
Nor one soft gleam bespeaks the gen’rous soul;
Through quiv’ring lips they draw their panting breath.
While their dark fraud decrees the works of death;
Nor unresolv’d the power of gold to try
Swift to the lordly catual’s gate they hie.--
Ah, what the wisdom, what the sleepless care
Efficient to avoid the traitor’s snare;
What human power can give a king to know
The smiling aspect of the lurking foe!
So let the tyrant plead. 1--The patriot king
Knows men, knows whence the patriot virtues spring;
From inward worth, from conscience firm and bold,
(Not from the man whose honest name is sold),
He hopes that virtue, whose unalter’d weight
Stands fix’d, unveering with the storms of state.

  Lur’d was the regent with the Moorish gold,
And now agreed their fraudful course to hold,
Swift to the king the regent’s steps they tread;
The king they found o’erwhelm’d in sacred dread.
The word they take, their ancient deeds relate,
Their ever faithful service of the state; 2

p. 243

"For ages long, from shore to distant shore
For thee our ready keels the traffic bore:
For thee we dar’d each horror of the wave;
Whate’er thy treasures boast our labours gave.
And wilt thou now confer our long-earn’d due,
Confer thy favour on a lawless crew?
The race they boast, as tigers of the wold
Bear that proud sway, by justice uncontroll’d.
Yet, for their crimes, expell’d that bloody home,
These, o’er the deep, rapacious plund’rers roam.
Their deeds we know; round Afric’s shores they came,
And spread, where’er they pass’d, devouring flame;
Mozambique’s towers, enroll’d in sheets of fire,
Blaz’d to the sky, her own funereal pyre.
Imperial Calicut shall feel the same,
And these proud state-rooms feed the funeral flame;
While many a league far round, their joyful eyes
Shall mark old ocean reddening to the skies.
Such dreadful fates, o’er thee, O king, depend,
Yet, with thy fall our fate shall never blend:
Ere o’er the east arise the second dawn
Our fleets, our nation from thy land withdrawn,
In other climes, beneath a kinder reign
Shall fix their port: yet may the threat be vain!

p. 244

If wiser thou with us thy powers employ,
Soon shall our powers the robber-crew destroy.
By their own arts and secret deeds o’ercome,
Here shall they meet the fate escaped at home."

  While thus the priest detain’d the monarch’s ear,
His cheeks confess’d the quiv’ring pulse of fear.
Unconscious of the worth that fires the brave,
In state a monarch, but in heart a slave,
He view’d brave VASCO, and his gen’rous train,
As his own passions stamp’d the conscious stain:
Nor less his rage the fraudful regent fir’d;
And valiant GAMA’s fate was now conspir’d.

  Ambassadors from India GAMA sought,
And oaths of peace, for oaths of friendship brought;
The glorious tale, ’twas all he wish’d, to tell;
So Ilion’s 1 fate was seal’d when Hector fell.

  Again convok’d before the Indian throne,
The monarch meets him with a rageful frown;
"And own," he cries, "the naked truth reveal,
Then shall my bounteous grace thy pardon seal.
Feign’d is the treaty thou pretend’st to bring:
No country owns thee, and thou own’st no king.
Thy life, long roving o’er the deep, I know--
A lawless robber, every man thy foe.
And think’st thou credit to thy tale to gain?
Mad were the sov’reign, and the hope were vain,.
Through ways unknown, from utmost western shore,
To bid his fleets the utmost east explore.
Great is thy monarch, so thy words declare;
But sumptuous gifts the proof of greatness bear:
Kings thus to kings their empire’s grandeur show;
Thus prove thy truth, thus we thy truth allow.
If not, what credence will the wise afford?
What monarch trust the wand’ring seaman’s word?
No sumptuous gift thou bring’st. 2--Yet, though some crime
Has thrown thee, banish’d from thy native clime,

p. 245

(Such oft of old the hero’s fate has been),
Here end thy toils, nor tempt new fates unseen:
Each land the brave man nobly calls his home:
Or if, bold pirates, o’er the deep you roam,
Skill’d the dread storm to brave, O welcome here!
Fearless of death, or shame, confess sincere:
My name shall then thy dread protection be,
My captain thou, unrivall’d on the sea."

  Oh now, ye Muses, sing what goddess fir’d
GAMA’s proud bosom, and his lips inspir’d.
Fair Acidalia, love’s celestial queen, 1
The graceful goddess of the fearless mien,
Her graceful freedom on his look bestow’d,
And all collected in his bosom glow’d.
"Sov’reign," he cries, "oft witness’d, well I know
The rageful falsehood of the Moorish foe:
Their fraudful tales, from hatred bred, believ’d,
Thine ear is poison’d, and thine eye deceiv’d.
What light, what shade the courtier’s mirror gives,
That light, that shade the guarded king receives.
Me hast thou view’d in colours not mine own,
Yet, bold I promise shall my truth be known.
If o’er the seas a lawless pest I roam,
A blood-stain’d exile from my native home,
How many a fertile shore and beauteous isle,
Where Nature’s gifts, unclaim’d, unbounded, smile,

p. 246

Mad have I left, to dare the burning zone,
And all the horrors of the gulfs unknown
That roar beneath the axle of the world,
Where ne’er before was daring sail unfurl’d!
And have I left these beauteous shores behind,
And have I dar’d the rage of ev’ry wind,
That now breath’d fire, and now came wing’d with frost,
Lur’d by the plunder of an unknown coast?
Not thus the robber leaves his certain prey
For the gay promise of a nameless day.
Dread and stupendous, more than death-doom’d man
Might hope to compass, more than wisdom plan,
To thee my toils, to thee my dangers rise:
Ah! Lisbon’s kings behold with other eyes.
Where virtue calls, where glory leads the way,
No dangers move them, and no toils dismay.
Long have the kings of Lusus’ daring race
Resolv’d the limits of the deep to trace,
Beneath the morn to ride the furthest waves,
And pierce the furthest shore old Ocean laves.
Sprung from the prince, 1 before whose matchless power
The strength of Afric wither’d as a flower
Never to bloom again, great Henry shone,
Each gift of nature and of art his own;
Bold as his sire, by toils on toils untir’d,
To find the Indian shore his pride aspir’d.
Beneath the stars that round the Hydra shine,
And where fam’d Argo hangs the heav’nly sign,
Where thirst and fever burn on ev’ry gale
The dauntless Henry rear’d the Lusian sail.
Embolden’d by the meed that crown’d his toils,
Beyond the wide-spread shores and num’rous isles,
Where both the tropics pour the burning day,
Succeeding heroes forc’d th’ exploring way;
That race which never view’d the Pleiad’s car,
That barb’rous race beneath the southern star,
Their eyes beheld.--Dread roar’d the blast--the wave
Boils to the sky, the meeting whirlwinds rave
O’er the torn heav’ns; loud on their awe-struck ear
Great Nature seem’d to call, ‘Approach not here!’

p. 247

At Lisbon’s court they told their dread escape,
And from her raging tempests, nam’d the Cape. 1
‘Thou southmost point,’ the joyful king exclaim’d,
‘Cape of Good Hope, be thou for ever nam’d!
Onward my fleets shall dare the dreadful way,
And find the regions of the infant day.’
In vain the dark and ever-howling blast
Proclaim’d, ‘This ocean never shall be past;’
Through that dread ocean, and the tempests’ roar,
My king commanded, and my course I bore.
The pillar thus of deathless fame, begun
By other chiefs, 2 beneath the rising sun
In thy great realm, now to the skies I raise,
The deathless pillar of my nation’s praise.
Through these wild seas no costly gift I brought;
Thy shore alone and friendly peace I sought.
And yet to thee the noblest gift I bring
The world can boast--the friendship of my king.
And mark the word, his greatness shall appear
When next my course to India’s strand I steer,
Such proofs I’ll bring as never man before
In deeds of strife, or peaceful friendship bore.
Weigh now my words, my truth demands the light,
For truth shall ever boast, at last, resistless might."

  Boldly the hero spake with brow severe,
Of fraud alike unconscious, as of fear:

p. 248

His noble confidence with truth impress’d
Sunk deep, unwelcome, in the monarch’s breast,
Nor wanting charms his avarice to gain
Appear’d the commerce of illustrious Spain.
Yet, as the sick man loathes the bitter draught,
Though rich with health he knows the cup comes fraught;
His health without it, self-deceiv’d, he weighs,
Now hastes to quaff the drug, and now delays;
Reluctant thus, as wav’ring passion veer’d,
The Indian lord the dauntless GAMA heard:
The Moorish threats yet sounding in his ear,
He acts with caution, and is led by fear.
With solemn pomp he bids his lords prepare
The friendly banquet; to the regent’s care
Commends brave GAMA, and with pomp retires:
The regent’s hearths awake the social fires;
Wide o’er the board the royal feast is spread,
And, fair embroidered, shines DE GAMA’S bed.
The regent’s palace high o’erlook’d the bay
Where GAMA’S black-ribb’d fleet at anchor lay. 1

  Ah, why the voice of ire and bitter woe
O’er Tago’s banks, ye nymphs of Tagus, show?
The flow’ry garlands from your ringlets torn,
Why wand’ring wild with trembling steps forlorn?
The demon’s rage you saw, and marled his flight
To the dark mansions of eternal night:
You saw how, howling through the shades beneath,
He wak’d new horrors in the realms of death.
What trembling tempests shook the thrones of hell,
And groan’d along her caves, ye muses, tell.
The rage of baffled fraud, and all the fire
Of powerless hate, with tenfold flames conspire;
From ev’ry eye the tawny lightnings glare,
And hell, illumin’d by the ghastly flare,
(A drear blue gleam), in tenfold horror shows
Her darkling caverns; from his dungeon rose

p. 249

Hagar’s stern son: pale was his earthy hue,
And from his eye-balls flash’d the lightnings blue;
Convuls’d with rage the dreadful shade demands
The last assistance of th’ infernal bands.
As when the whirlwinds, sudden bursting, bear
Th’ autumnal leaves high floating through the air;
So, rose the legions of th’ infernal state,
Dark Fraud, base Art, fierce Rage, and burning Hate:
Wing’d by the Furies to the Indian strand
They bend; the demon leads the dreadful band,
And, in the bosoms of the raging Moors
All their collected, living strength he pours.
One breast alone against his rage was steel’d,
Secure in spotless Truth’s celestial shield.

  One evening past, another evening clos’d,
The regent still brave GAMA’S suit oppos’d;
The Lusian chief his guarded guest detain’d,
With arts on arts, and vows of friendship feign’d.
His fraudful art, though veil’d in deep disguise,
Shone bright to GAMA’s manner-piercing eyes.
As in the sun’s bright 1 beam the gamesome boy
Plays with the shining steel or crystal toy,

p. 250

Swift and irregular, by sudden starts,
The living ray with viewless motion darts,
Swift o’er the wall, the floor, the roof, by turns
The sun-beam dances, and the radiance burns:
In quick succession, thus, a thousand views
The sapient Lusian’s lively thought pursues;
Quick as the lightning ev’ry view revolves,
And, weighing all, fix’d are his dread resolves.
O’er India’s shore the sable night descends,
And GAMA, now, secluded from his friends,
Detain’d a captive in the room of state,
Anticipates in thought to-morrow’s fate;
For just Mozaide no gen’rous care delays,
And VASCO’S trust with friendly toils repays.


We have already seen the warm encomium paid by Tasso to his contemporary, Camoëns. That great poet, the ornament of Italy, has also testified his approbation by several imitations of the Lusiad. Virgil, in no instance, has more closely copied Homer, than Tasso has imitated the appearance of Bacchus, or the evil demon, in the dream of the Moorish priest. The enchanter Ismeno thus appears to the sleeping Solyman:--

"Soliman’ Solimano, i tuoi silenti
Riposi à miglior tempo homai riserva: p. 251
Che sotto it giogo de straniere genti
La patria, ove regnasti, ancor’ e serva.
In questa terra dormi, e non rammenti,
Ch’ insepolte de’ tuoi l’ossa conserva?
Ove si gran’ vestigio e del tuo scorno,
Tu neghittoso aspetti it nuovo giorno?"

Thus elegantly translated by Mr. Hoole:--

Oh! Solyman, regardless chief, awake!
In happier hours thy grateful slumber take:
Beneath a foreign yoke thy subjects bend,
And strangers o’er thy land their rule extend;
Here dost thou sleep? here close thy careless eyes,
While uninterr’d each lov’d associate lies?
Here where thy fame has felt the hostile scorn,
Canst thou, unthinking, wait the rising morn?"

The conclusion of this canto has been slightly altered by the translator. Camoëns, adhering to history, makes GAMA (when his factors are detained on shore) seize upon some of the native merchants as hostages. At the intreaty of their wives and children the zamorim liberates his captives; while GAMA, having recovered his men and the merchandise, sailed away, carrying with him the unfortunate natives, whom he had seized as hostages.

As there is nothing heroic in this dishonourable action of GAMA’S, Mickle has omitted it, and has altered the conclusion of the canto.--Ed.






222:1 Kotwâl, a sort of superintendent or inspector of police.--FORBES’ Hindustani Dictionary.

222:2 Lusus.

223:1 His cluster’d bough, the same which Bacchus bore.--Camoëns immediately before, and in the former book, calls the ensign of Lusus a bough; here he calls it the green thyrsus of Bacchus:--

O verde Tyrso foi de Bacco usado.

[paragraph continues] The thyrsus, however, was a javelin twisted with ivy-leaves, used in the sacrifices of Bacchus:

223:2 In those fair lawns the bless’d Elysium feign’d.--In this assertion our author has the authority of Strabo, a foundation sufficient for a poet. Nor are there wanting several Spanish writers, particularly Barbosa, who seriously affirm that Homer drew the fine description of Elysium, in his fourth Odyssey, from the beautiful valleys of Spain, where, in one of his voyages, they say, he arrived. Egypt, however, seems to have a better title to this honour. The fable of Charon, and the judges of hell, are evidently borrowed from the Egyptian rites of burial, and are older than Homer. After a ferryman had conveyed the corpse over a lake, certain judges examined the life of the deceased, particularly his claim to the virtue of loyalty, and, according to the report, decreed or refused the honours of sepulture. The place of the catacombs, according to Diodorus Siculus, was surrounded with deep canals, beautiful meadows, and a wilderness of groves. It is universally known that the greatest part of the Grecian fables were fabricated from the customs and opinions of Egypt. Several other nations have also claimed the honour of affording the idea of the fields of the blessed. Even the Scotch challenge it. Many Grecian fables, says an author of that country, are evidently founded on the reports of the Phœnician sailors. That these navigators traded to the coasts of Britain is certain. In the middle of summer, the season when the ancients performed their voyages, for about six weeks there is no night over the Orkney Islands; the disk of the sun, during that time, scarcely sinking below the horizon. This appearance, together with the calm which usually prevails at that p. 224 season, and the beautiful verdure of the islands, could not fail to excite the admiration of the Phœnicians; and their accounts of the place naturally afforded the idea that these islands were inhabited by the spirits of the just. This, says our author, is countenanced by Homer, who places his "islands of the happy" at the extremity of the ocean. That the fables of Scylla, the Gorgones, and several others, were founded on the accounts of navigators, seems probable; and, on this supposition, the Insulæ Fortunatæ, and Purpurariæ, now the Canary and Madeira islands, also claim the honour of giving colours to the description of Elysium. The truth, however, appears to be this: That a place of happiness is reserved for the spirits of the good is the natural suggestion of that anxiety and hope concerning the future which animates the human breast. All the barbarous nations of Africa and America agree in placing their heaven in beautiful islands, at an immense distance over the ocean. The idea is universal, and is natural to every nation in a state of barbarous simplicity.

224:1 The goddess Minerva.

224:2 The heav’n-built towers of Troy.--Alluding to the fable of Neptune, Apollo, and Laomedon.


On Europe’s strand, pore grateful to the skies,
He bade th’ eternal walls of Lisbon rise

[paragraph continues] For some account of this tradition, see the note on Lusiad, bk. iii. p. 76. Ancient traditions, however fabulous, have a good effect in poetry. Virgil has not scrupled to insert one, which required an apology:--

Prisca fides facto, sed fama perennis.

[paragraph continues] Spenser has given us the history of Brute and his descendants at full length in the Faerie Queene; and Milton, it is known, was so fond of that absurd legend, that he intended to write a poem on the subject; and by this fondness was induced to mention it as a truth in the introduction to his History of England.

225:1 The brother chief.--Paulus de Gama.

225:2 That gen’rous pride which Borne to Pyrrhus bore.--When Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was at war with the Romans, his physician offered to poison him. The senate rejected the proposal, and acquainted Pyrrhus of the designed treason. Florus remarks on the infamous assassination of Viriatus, that the Roman senate did him great honour; ut videretur aliter vinci non potuisse; it was a confession that they could not otherwise conquer him.--Vid. Flor. l. 17. For a fuller account of this great man, see the note on Lusiad, bk. i. p. 9.

225:3 Some deem the warrior of Hungarian race.--See the note on the Lusiad, bk. iii. p. 67.

225:4 Jerusalem.

226:1 The first Alonzo.--King of Portugal.

226:2 On his young pupil’s flight.--"Some, indeed most, writers say, that the queen advancing with her army towards Guimaraez, the king, without waiting till his governor joined him, engaged them and was routed: but that afterwards the remains of his army, being joined by the troops under the command of Egaz Munitz, engaged the army of the queen a second time, and gained a complete victory." UNIV. HIST.

226:3 Egaz behold, a chief self-doom’d to death.--See the same story, in bk. iii. p. 71. Though history affords no authentic document of this transaction, tradition, the poet’s authority, is not silent. And the monument of Egaz in the monastery of Paço de Souza gives it countenance. Egaz and his family are there represented, in bas relief, in the attitude and garb, says Castera, as described by Camoëns.

227:1 Ah Rome! no more thy gen’rous consul boast.--Sc. Posthumus, who, overpowered by the Samnites, submitted to the indignity of passing under the yoke.

227:2 The Moorish king.--The Alcaydes, or tributary governors under the Miramolin * or Emperor of Morocco, are often by the Spanish and Portuguese writers styled kings. He who was surprised and taken prisoner by Don Fuaz Roupinho was named Gama. Fuaz, after having gained the first naval victory of the Portuguese, also experienced their first defeat. With one and twenty sail he attacked fifty-four large galleys of the Moors. "The sea," says Brandan, "which had lately furnished him with trophies, now supplied him with a tomb."

227:* This should be (and is evidently only a corruption of), Emir-et-Mumenîn, i.e. in Arabic, Commander of the believers.--Ed.

228:1 A foreign navy brings the pious aid.--A navy of crusaders, mostly English.

228:2 And from the leaves.--This legend is mentioned by some ancient Portuguese chronicles. Homer would have availed himself, as Camoëns has done, of a tradition so enthusiastic, and characteristic of the age. Henry was a native of Bonneville near Cologne. "His tomb," says Castera, "is still to be seen in the monastery of St. Vincent, but without the palm."

229:1 In robes of white behold a priest advance.--Thestonius, prior of the regulars of St. Augustine of Conymbra. Some ancient chronicles relate this circumstance as mentioned by Camoëns. Modern writers assert, that he never quitted his breviary.--CASTERA.

229:2 The son of Egas.--He was named Mem Moniz, and was son of Egas Moniz, celebrated for the surrender of himself and family to the King of Castile, as already mentioned.

229:3 The dauntless Gerald.--"He was a man of rank, who, in order to avoid the legal punishment to which several crimes rendered him obnoxious, put himself at the head of a party of freebooters. Tiring, however, of that life, he resolved .to reconcile himself to his sovereign by some noble action. Full of this idea, one evening he entered Evora, which then belonged to the Moors. In the night he killed the sentinels of one of the gates, which he opened to his companions, who soon became masters of the place. This exploit had its desired effect. The king pardoned Gerald, and made him governor of Evora. A knight with a sword in one hand, and two heads in the other, from that time became the armorial bearing of the city. "--CASTERA.

230:1 Wrong’d by his king.--Don Pedro Fernando de Castro, injured by the family of Lara, and denied redress by the King of Castile, took the infamous revenge of bearing arms against his native country. At the head of a Moorish army he committed several outrages in Spain; but was totally defeated in Portugal.

230:2 And lo, the skies unfold.--"According to some ancient Portuguese histories, Don Matthew, bishop of Lisbon, in the reign of Alonso I. attempted to reduce Alcazar, then in possession of the Moors. His troops, being suddenly surrounded by a numerous party of the enemy, were ready to fly, when, at the prayers of the bishop, a venerable old man, clothed in white, with a red cross on his breast, appeared in the air. The miracle dispelled the fears of the Portuguese; the Moors were defeated, and the conquest of Alcazar crowned the victory."--CASTERA.


            Her streets in blood deplore
The seven brave hunters murder’d by the Moor

[paragraph continues] "During a truce with the Moors, six cavaliers of the order of St. James were, while on a hunting party, surrounded and killed by a numerous body of the Moors. During the fight, in which the gentlemen sold their lives dear, a common carter, named Garcias Rodrigo, who chanced to pass that way, came generously to their assistance, and lost his life along with them. The poet, in giving all seven the same title, shows us that virtue constitutes true nobility. Don Payo de Correa, grand master of the order of St. James, revenged the death of these brave unfortunates by the sack of Tavila, where his just rage put the garrison to the sword."--CASTERA.

231:2 These three bold knights how dread.--Nothing can give us a stronger picture of the romantic character of their age, than the manners of these champions, who were gentlemen of birth; and who, in the true spirit of knight-errantry, went about from court to court in quest of adventures. Their names were, Gonçalo Ribeiro; Fernando Martinez de Santarene; and Vasco Anez, foster-brother to Mary, queen of Castile, daughter of Alonzo IV. of Portugal.

232:1 And I, behold, am off’ring sacrifice.--This line, the simplicity of which, I think, contains great dignity, is adopted from Fanshaw--

"And I, ye see, am off’ring sacrifice;"

who has here caught the spirit of the original--

A quem lhe a dura nova estava dando,
Pois eu responde estou sacrificando

i.e. To whom when they told the dreadful tidings, "And I," he replies, am sacrificing." The piety of Numa was crowned with victory.--Vid. ‘Plut. in vit. Numæ.


The Lusian Scipio well might speak his fame,
But nobler
Nunio shines a greater name.--

[paragraph continues] Castera justly observes the happiness with which Camoëns introduces the name of this truly great man. "Il va," says he, "le nommer tout à l’heure avec une adresse et une magnificence digne d’un si beau sujet."

232:3 Two knights of Malta.--These knights were first named Knights Hospitalers of St. John of Jerusalem, afterwards Knights of Rhodes, p. 223 from whence they were driven to Messina, ere Malta was assigned to them. By their oath of knighthood they were bound to protect the Holy Sepulchre from the profanation of infidels; immediately on taking this oath, they retired to their colleges, where they lived on their revenues in all the idleness of monkish luxury. Their original habit was black, with a white cross; their arms gules, a cross, argent.

233:1 His captive friend.--Before John I. mounted the throne of Portugal, one Vasco Porcallo was governor of Villaviciosa. Roderic de Landroal and his friend, Alvarez Cuytado, having discovered that he was in the interest of the King of Castile, drove him from his town and fortress. On the establishment of King John, Porcallo had the art to obtain the favour of that prince; but, no sooner was he re-instated in the garrison, than he delivered it up to the Castilians; and plundered the house of Cuytado, whom, with his wife, he made prisoner and, under a numerous party, ordered to be sent to Olivença. Roderic de Landroal, hearing of this, attacked and defeated the escort, and set his friend at liberty.--CASTERA.

233:2 Here treason’s well-earn’d meed allures thine eyes.--While the kingdom of Portugal was divided, some holding with John the newly elected king, and others with the King of Castile, Roderic Marin, governor of Campo-Major, declared for the latter. Fernando d’Elvas endeavoured to gain him to the interest of his native prince, and a conference, with the usual assurances of safety, was agreed to. Marin, at this meeting, seized upon Elvas, and sent him prisoner to his castle. Elvas having recovered his liberty, a few days after met his enemy in the field, whom, in his turn, he made captive; and the traitorous Marin, notwithstanding the endeavours of their captain to save his life, met the reward of his treason from the soldiers of Elvas.--Partly from Castera.

234:1 And safe the Lusian galleys speed away.--A numerous fleet of the Castilians being on their way to lay siege to Lisbon, Ruy Pereyra, the Portuguese commander, seeing no possibility of victory, boldly attacked the Spanish admiral. The fury of his onset put the Castilians in disorder, and allowed the Portuguese galleys a safe escape In this brave piece of service the gallant Pereyra lost his life.--CASTERA.

234:2 The shepherd.--Viriatus.

234:3 Equal flame inspir’d these few.--the Castilians having laid siege to Almada, a fortress on a mountain near Lisbon, the garrison, in the utmost distress for water, were obliged at times to make sallies to the bottom of the hill in quest of it. Seventeen Portuguese thus employed were one day attacked by four hundred of the enemy. They made a brave defence, and effected a happy retreat into their fortress.--CASTERA.

234:4 Far from the succour of the Lusian host.--When Alonzo V. took Ceuta, Don Pedro de Menezes was the only officer in the army who p. 235 was willing to become governor of that fortress; which, on account of the uncertainty of succour from Portugal, and the earnest desire of the Moors to regain it, was deemed untenable. He gallantly defended his post in two severe sieges.

235:1 That other earl.--He was the natural son of Don Pedro de Menezes. Alonzo V. one day, having ridden out from Ceuta with a few attendants, was attacked by a numerous party of the Moors, when De Vian, and some others under him, at the expense of their own lives, purchased the safe retreat of their sovereign.

235:2 Two brother-heroes shine.--The sons of John I. Don Pedro was called the Ulysses of his age, on account both of his eloquence and his voyages. He visited almost every court of Europe, but he principally distinguished himself in Germany, where, under the standards of the Emperor Sigismond, he signalized his valour in the war against the Turks.--CASTERA.

235:3 The glorious Henry.--In pursuance of the reasons assigned in the preface, the translator has here taken the liberty to make a transposition in the order of his author. In Camoëns, Don Pedro de Menezes, and his son De Vian, conclude the description of the pictured ensigns. Don Henry, the greatest man perhaps that ever Portugal produced, has certainly the best title to close this procession of the Lusian heroes. And, as he was the father of navigation, particularly of the voyage of GAMA, to sum up the narrative with his encomium has even some critical propriety. [These

p. 236

These observations were suggested by the conduct of Camoëns, whose design, like that of Virgil, was to write a poem which might contain all the triumphs of his country. As the shield of Æneas supplies what could not be introduced in the vision of Elysium, so the ensigns of GAMA complete the purpose of the third and fourth Lusiads. The use of that long episode, the conversation with the King of Melinda, and its connection with the subject, have been already observed. The seeming episode of the pictures, while it fulfils the promise--

And all my country’s wars the song adorn,

is also admirably connected with the conduct of the poem. The Hindoos naturally desire to be informed of the country, the history, and power of their foreign visitors, and Paulus sets it before their eyes. In every progression of the scenery the business of the poem advances. The regent and his attendants are struck with the warlike grandeur and power of the strangers, and to accept of their friendship, or to prevent the forerunners of so martial a nation from carrying home the tidings of the discovery of India, becomes the great object of their consideration.

236:1 But ah, forlorn, what shame to barb’rous pride.--In the original.--p. 237

Mas faltamlhes pincel, faltamlhes cores,
Honra, premio, favor, que as artes criáo

[paragraph continues] "But the pencil was wanting, colours were wanting, honour, reward, favour, the nourishers of the arts." This seemed to the translator as an impropriety, and contrary to the purpose of the whole speech of Paulus, which was to give the catual a high idea of Portugal. In the fate of the imaginary painter, the Lusian poet gives us the picture of his own, and resentment wrung this impropriety from him. The spirit of the complaint, however, is preserved in the translation. The couplet--

Immortal fame his deathless labours gave;
Poor man, he sunk neglected to the grave!"

is not in the original. It is the sigh of indignation over the unworthy fate of the unhappy Camoëns.

238:1 The ghost-like aspect and the threat’ning tools.--Mohammed, by some historians described as of a pale livid complexion, and trux aspectus et vox terribilis, of a fierce threatening aspect, voice, and demeanour.


When, softly usher’d by the milky dawn,
The sun first rises

[paragraph continues] "I deceive myself greatly," says Castera, "if this simile is not the most noble and the most natural that can be found in any poem. It has been imitated by the Spanish comedian, the illustrious Lopez de Vega, in his comedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, act i. sc. 1:--

Como mirar puede ser
El sol al amanecer,
I quando se enciende, no

[paragraph continues] Castera adds a very loose translation of these Spanish lines in French verse. The literal English is, As the sun may be beheld at its rising, but, when illustriously kindled, cannot. Naked, however, as this is. the imitation of Camoëns is evident. As Castera is so very bold in his encomium of this fine simile of the sun, it is but justice to add his translation of it, together with the original Portuguese, and the translation of Fanshaw. Thus the French translator:--

Les yeux peuvent soûtenir la clarté du soleil naissant, mais lorsqu’il s’est avancé dans sa carrière lumineuse, et que ses rayons répandent les ardeurs du midi, on tacherait en vain de l’envisager; un prompt aveuglement serait le prix de cette audace.

Thus elegantly in the original:--

"Em quanto he fraca a força desta gente,
Ordena como em tudo se resista,
Porque quando o Sol sahe, facilmente
Se pòde nelle por a aguda vista:
Porem despois que sobe claro, & ardente,
Se a agudeza dos olhos o conquista
Tao cega fica, quando ficareis,
Se raizes criar lhe nao tolheis."

And thus humbled by Fanshaw:--

"Now whilst this people’s strength is not yet knit,
Think how ye may resist them by all ways.
For when the Sun is in his nonage yit,
Upon his morning beauty men may gaze;
But let him once up to his zenith git,
He strikes them blind with his meridian rays;
So blind will ye be, if ye look not too’t,
If ye permit these cedars to take root."


                 Around him stand,
With haggard looks, the hoary Magi band

[paragraph continues] The Brahmins, the diviners of India. Ammianus Marcellinus, l. 23, says, that the Persian Magi derived their knowledge from the Brachmanes of India. And Arrianus, l. 7, expressly gives the Brahmins the name of Magi. The Magi of India, says he, told Alexander, on his pretensions to divinity, that in everything he was like other men, except that he took less rest, and did more mischief. The Brahmins are never among modern writers called Magi.

240:2 The hov’ring demon gives the dreadful sign.--This has an allusion to the truth of history. Barros relates, that an augur being brought before the Zamorim, "Em hum vaso de agua l’he mostrara hunas naos, que vin ham de muy longe para a India, e que a gente d’ellas seria total p. 241 destruiçam dos Mouros de aquellas partes.--In a vessel of water he showed him some ships which from a great distance came to India, the people of which would effect the utter subversion of the Moors." Camoëns has certainly chosen a more poetical method of describing this divination, a method in the spirit of Virgil; nor in this is he inferior to his great master. The supernatural flame which seizes on Lavinia while assisting at the sacrifice alone excepted, every other part of the augury of Latinus, and his dream in the Albunean forest, whither he went to consult his ancestor, the god Faunus, in dignity and poetical colouring, cannot come in comparison with the divination of the Magi, and the appearance of the demon in the dream of the Moorish priest.

241:1 Th’ eternal yoke.--This picture, it may perhaps be said, is but a bad compliment to the heroes of the Lusiad, and the fruits of their discovery. A little consideration, however, will vindicate Camoëns. It is the demon and the enemies of the Portuguese who procure this divination; everything in it is dreadful, on purpose to determine the zamorim to destroy the fleet of GAMA. In a former prophecy of the conquest of India (when the catual describes the sculpture of the royal palace), our poet has been careful to ascribe the happiest effects to the discovery of his heroes:--

"Beneath their sway majestic, wise, and mild,
Proud of her victors’ laws, thrice happier India smil’d."

242:1 So let the tyrant plead.--In this short declamation, a seeming excrescence, the business of the poem in reality is carried on. The zamorim, and his prime minister, the catual, are artfully characterised in it; and the assertion--

Lur’d was the regent with the Moorish gold,

is happily introduced by the declamatory reflections which immediately precede it.


The Moors-----their ancient deeds relate,
Their ever faithful service of the state

An explanation of the word Moor is here necessary. When the East afforded no more field for the sword of the conqueror, the Saracens, assisted by the Moors, who had embraced their religion, laid the finest countries in Europe in blood and desolation. As their various embarkations were from the empire of Morocco, the p. 243 Europeans gave the name of Moors to all the professors of the Mohammedan religion. In the same manner the eastern nations blended all the armies of the Crusaders under one appellation, and the Franks, of whom the army of Godfrey was mostly composed, became their common name for all the inhabitants of the West. Before the arrival of GAMA, as already observed, all the traffic of the East, from the Ethiopian side of Africa to China, was in the hands of Arabian Mohammedans, who, without incorporating with the pagan natives, had their colonies established in every country commodious for commerce. These the Portuguese called Moors; and at present the Mohammedans of India are called the Moors of Hindostan by our English writers. The intelligence these Moors gave to one another, relative to the actions of GAMA; the general terror with which they beheld the appearance of Europeans, whose rivalship they dreaded as the destruction of their power; the various frauds and arts they employed to prevent the return of one man of GAMA’S fleet to Europe, and their threat to withdraw from the dominions of the zamorim, are all according to the truth of history. The speeches of the zamorim and of GAMA, which follow, are also founded in truth.

244:1 Troy.

244:2 No sumptuous gift thou bring’st.--"As the Portuguese did not p. 245 expect to find any people but savages beyond the Cape of Good Hope, they only brought with them some preserves and confections, with trinkets of coral, of glass, and other trifles. This opinion, however, deceived them. In Melinda and in Calicut they found civilized nations, where the arts flourished; who wanted nothing; who were possessed of all the refinements and delicacies on which we value ourselves. The King of Melinda had the generosity to be contented with the present which GAMA made; but the zamorim, with a disdainful eye, beheld the gifts which were offered to him. The present was this: Four mantles of scarlet, six hats adorned with feathers, four chaplets of coral beads, twelve Turkey carpets, seven drinking cups of brass, a chest of sugar, two barrels of oil, and two of honey."--CASTERA.

245:1 Fair Acidalia, Love’s celestial queen.--Castera derives Acidalia from ἀκηδὴς, which, he says, implies to act without fear or restraint. Acidalia is one of the names of Venus, in Virgil; derived from Acidalus, a fountain sacred to her in Boeotia.

246:1 Sprung from the prince.--John I.

247:1 And from her raging tempests, nam’d the Cape.--Bartholomew Diaz, was the first who discovered the southmost point of Africa. He was driven back by the storms, which on these seas were thought always to continue, and which the learned of former ages, says Osorius, thought impassable. Diaz, when he related his voyage to John II. called the southmost point the Cape of Tempests. The expectation of the king, however, was kindled by the account, and with inexpressible joy, says the same author, he immediately named it the Cape of Good Hope.


The pillar thus of deathless fame, begun
By other chiefs, etc.

"Till I now ending what those did begin,
The furthest pillar in thy realm advance;
Breaking the element of molten tin,
Through horrid storms I lead to thee the dance."


The regent’s palace high o’erlook’d the bay,
Where Gama’s black-ribb’d fleet at anchor lay

The resemblance of this couplet to many passages in Homer, must be obvious to the intelligent critic.

249:1 As in the sun’s bright beam.--Imitated from Virgil, who, by the same simile, describes the fluctuation of the thoughts of Æneas, on the eve of the Latian war:--

               "Laomedontius heros
Cuncta videns, magno curarum fluctuat æstu,
Atque animum nunc huc celerem, nunc dividit illuc,
In partesque rapit varias, perque omnia versat.
Sicut aquæ tremulum labris ubi lumen ahenis
Sole repercussum, aut radiantis imagine Lunæ,
Omnia pervolitat late loca: jamque sub auras
Erigitur, summique ferit laquearia tecti."

"This way and that he turns his anxious mind,
Thinks, and rejects the counsels he design’d;
Explores himself in vain, in ev’ry part,
And gives no rest to his distracted heart:
So when the sun by day or moon by night
Strike on the polish’d brass their trembling light,
The glitt’ring species here and there divide,
And cast their dubious beams from side to side;
Now on the walls, now on the pavement play,
And to the ceiling flash the glaring day."

p. 250

Ariosto has also adopted this simile in the eighth book of his Orlando Furioso:--

"Qual d’acqua chiara it tremolante lume
Dal Sol per percossa, o da’ notturni rai,
Per gli ampli tetti và con lungo salto
A destra, ed a sinistra, e basso, ed alto."

"So from a water clear, the trembling light
Of Phoebus, or the silver ray of night,
Along the spacious rooms with splendour plays,
Now high, now low, and shifts a thousand ways."

[paragraph continues] But the happiest circumstance belongs to Camoëns. The velocity and various shiftings of the sun-beam, reflected from a piece of crystal or polished steel in the hand of a boy, give a much stronger idea of the violent agitation and sudden shiftings of thought than the image of the trembling light of the sun or moon reflected from a vessel of water. The brazen vessel, however, and not the water, is only mentioned by Dryden. Nor must another inaccuracy pass unobserved. That the reflection of the moon flashed the glaring day is not countenanced by the original.

Next: Book IX