THE LUSIAD , OR PORTUGALS Historicall Poem :
Dignum laude virum Musa vetat mori ;
Carmen amat quisquis , Carmine digna facit .
LONDON , Printed for Humphrey Moseley , at the Prince's-Arms in St Pauls Church-yard , M. DC . LV .

THE LVSIAD OF Lewis Camoens .

First Canto

ARmes , and the Men above the vulgar File ,
Who from the Western Lusitanian shore
Past ev'n beyond the Trapobanian -Isle ,
Through Seas which never Ship had sayld before ;
Who ( brave in action , patient in long Toyle ,
Beyond what strength of humane nature bore . )
'Mongst Nations , under other stars , acquir'd
A modern Scepter which to Heaven aspir'd .
Likewise those Kings of glorious memory ,
Who sow'd and propagated where they past
The Faith with the new Empire ( making dry
The Breasts of Asia , and laying waste
Black Affrick's vitious Glebe ; And Those who by
Their deeds at home left not their names defac't ,
My Song shall spread where ever there are Men ,
If Wit and Art will so much guide my Pen .
BCease 2The Luciad , or PortugalsCant. I.
Cease man of Troy , and cease thou Sage of Greece ,
To boast the Navigations great ye made ;
Let the high Fame of Alexander cease ,
And Traian's Banners in the East display'd :
For to a Man recorded in this Peece
Neptune his Trident yielded , Mars his Blade .
Cease All , whose Actions ancient Bards exprest :
A brighter Valour rises in the West .
And you ( my Tagus's Nymphs ) since ye did raise
My Wit t'a more then ordinary flame ;
If I in low , yet tuneful Verse , the praise
Of your sweet River always did proclame :
Inspire me now with high and thund'ring lays ;
Give me them cleer and flowing like his stream :
That to your Waters Phebus may ordaine
They do not envy those of Hyppocrene .
Give me a mighty Fury , Nor rude Reeds
Or rustick Bag-Pipes sounds , But such as War's
Lowd Instrument ( the noble Trumpet ) breeds ,
Which fires the Breast , and stirs the blood to jars .
Give me a Poem equal to the deeds
Or your brave Servitors ( Rivals of Mars )
That I may sing them through the Universe ,
If , whom That held not , can be held in Verse .
And you , a present Pawn to Portugale
Of the old Lusitanian-Libertie ;
Nor the less certain Hope t'extend the Pale
One day , of narrow Christianitie :
New Terrour of the moorish Arsenale :
The foretold Wonder of our Centurie :
Giv'n to the World by God , the World to win ,
To give to God much of the World agin .
You , fair and tender Blossom of that Tree
Belov'd by Him , who dy'd on One for Man ,
More then whatever Western Maiestie
Is styl'd Most Christian , or Cæsarean .
Behold it in your Shield ! where you may see
Orique's Battaile , which Alphonso wan ,
In which Christ gave for Arms , for you t'emboss ,
The same which He himself bore on the Cross .
You 3 4 5 6 7

About this text

Title: The Lusiad, or, Portugals Historicall Poem. [Translated from Spanish versions of the Portuguese of Luís de Camões.]
Author: Camões, Luís de; Fanshawe, Richard (translator)
Edition: DIY edition
Series: Taylor Editions: Treasures
Editor: Created by Joanne Ferrari.


Luís de Camões's Os Lusíadas ( 1572 ) , an epic poem about Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India , is considered by many to be Portugal’s greatest literary work . Richard Fanshawe’s translation of 1655 that we present here is the first English translation of the Lusiad , done from earlier Spanish translations rather than the original Portuguese . Fanshawe’s translation was done at a time of great upheaval in Britain , not long after the end of the Civil War and during the time of Cromwell’s Protectorate . Fanshawe himself was a committed Royalist , and his translation of the Lusiad - based on Spanish versions which had already imbued the text with their own political agenda - is seen by many as a complementary device to concurrent imperialist political manoeuvres . Of the 1,102 stanzas , the first 7 are transcribed here .

Other Resources


Publication: Oxford (UK): Taylor Institution Library, 2018. XML files are available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License . Images are available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License .

Source edition

Camões, Luís de; Fanshawe, Richard (translator) The Lusiad, or, Portugals Historicall Poem. [Translated from Spanish versions of the Portuguese of Luís de Camões.] London: Printed [by Thomas Newcombe] for Humphrey Moseley, at the Prince's-Arms in St Pauls Church-Yard, 1655, pp. 1-2. 

Editorial principles

Created by encoding transcription from printed text.

This is a diplomatic transcription. I have changed the long 's' to a regular s. I have followed the text's use of capital letters. I have included the running header, catchwords, quire marks etc. I have tried to copy the physical layout of the page. There is no marginalia.