Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV.  1876–79.
 
Portugal: Coimbra
Coimbra
Luís de Camões (c. 1524–1580)
 
Translated by Mrs. Cockle

SOFT from its crystal bed of rest
  Mondego’s tranquil waters glide;
Nor stop, till lost on ocean’s breast,
  They, swelling, mingle with the tide,
Increasing still, as still they flow,—        5
Ah! there commenced my endless woe.
 
There Beauty showed, with angel mien,
  Whate’er is Beauty’s loveliest mould,—
The enchanting smile, the brow serene,
  And ivory forehead wreathed with gold;        10
A countenance which Love’s soft art
Has graven forever on my heart.
 
Content and glorious with the pain
  That shot from Beauty’s radiant eyes,
From day to day I hugged my chain,        15
  And played with life amidst my sighs,
E’en with my fervent war at peace,
Nor bade the dear illusions cease.
 
Though still those beaming orbs unclose,
  For me their fires no longer shine;        20
Can those avail to soothe my woes,
  If these bright beams no more are mine?
For radiant howsoe’er they be,—
Alas! they are not bright for me.
 
Ah! who might guess of love so deep        25
  I ere the unfathomed end should see,
Or dare to tell that aught would keep
  My separated soul from thee?
That lost to hope, alone survives
The cherished joy remembrance gives.        30
 
Ah! who might say the glorious thought
  Should, in a moment, cease to heave
This breast, with fond endearment fraught;
  And hope itself no more deceive?
Yet memory still recalls thy power,        35
And shall till life’s receding hour.
 
Yet softly steals to soothe my grief
  The thought that cheats me into bliss,
And gives me yet a faint relief
  Midst all my bosom’s wretchedness,        40
That in our happier hours you proved
You ne’er could love as I have loved!
 
Thus shall the pangs of absence steal
  O’er thee, with half thy torturing woe;
But shouldst thou guess the pangs I feel,        45
  Or should thy tear of anguish flow,
That tear would but my woes increase;
In death alone I seek for peace.
 
Yet whispered to the murmuring stream
  That winds these flowery meads among,        50
I give affection’s cheating dream,
  And pour in weeping truth my song
That each recounted woe may prove
A lasting monument of love.
 
 
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