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CAMOES, Luis Vaz de

Lembranças que lembrais meu bem passado

Memories, you recall my happy times,

Memories, you recall my happy times,

so I feel, all the more, my present evil;

let me live contentedly, if you will –

don’t leave me to die on such terms

If, however, it is all ordained

I must live, as is obvious, in discontent,

good comes, if it comes, by accident,

while dearth brings my sorrows to an end.

How much better to lose one’s being

canceling images from the memory

for the damage they do to one’s reason.

Just as he who is lost loses nothing,

hope drag in its wake its own glory,
given life must always be lived in pain.

Herinnering die mij geen rust meer laat

Herinnering die mij geen rust meer laat

en dieper voelen doet hoe ik verstarde:

geef mij een leven dat ik wèl kan harden,

laat mij niet afsterven in deze staat.

Doch zo het moet, als het niet anders gaat,

doe dan in deze ellende énkele flarden

geluk verdwalen om de zeer benarde

voordat de dood hem uit zijn lijden slaat.

Liever gestorven zijn dan nog in leven

zolang herinneringen blijven boren

en schade doen en nooit zijn uitgewoed.

Wat is aan een verlorene verloren

die ook de laatste hoop heeft opgegeven

en levenslang ontredderd blijven moet?

Vertaling: Dolf VERSPOOR

Whoever, Lady

Whoever, Lady, sees plain and clear

the lovely essence of your fair eyes

and doesn't from seeing them go blind

hasn't paid your looks their due.

. Since it gives me so much bliss

to give you everything I can

The more I pay you, the more I owe.


Little by little it ebbs, this life,

if by any chance I am still alive;

my brief time passes before my eyes.

I mourn the past in whatever I say;

as each day passes, step by step

my youth deserts me—what persists is pain.

Beholding Her

When I behold you, Lady! when my eyes

Dwell on the deep enjoyment of your sight,

I give my spirit to that one delight,

And earth appears to me a Paradise.

And when I hear you speak, and see you smile,

Full satisfied, absorb'd, my centr'd mind

Deems all the world's vain hopes and joys the while

As empty as the unsubstantial wind.

Lady! I feel your charms, yet dare not raise

To that high theme the unequal song of praise,-

A power for that to language was not given;

Nor marvel I, when I those beauties view,

Lady! that He, whose power created you,

Could form the stars and yonder glorious heaven.

Corydon and Tityrus

Beneath a green and lofty oak reclined,

Corydon o'er the scale his finger threw

In ivy's shade, whose clinging tendrils grew

Among the trees, and round the branches twined.

Of Amaryllis, nymph for whom he pined,

He sang the loves, love's moving power he knew;

The birds among the branches listening flew,

And lower down did stream of crystal wind.

To him comes Tityrus, who idly roved,

Driving his meagre cattle o'er the plain;

Tityrus was friend of Corydon best loved.

He tells him all his torment and his pain;

By other's speech the embittered is not moved.

Nor grief makes sorrowful the heart that's fain.

Os bons vi sempre passar
No mundo graves tormentos;
E para mais me espantar,
Os maus vi sempre nadar
Em mar de contentamentos.
Cuidando alcançar assim

O bem tão mal ordenado,

Fui mau, mas fui castigado:

Assi que só para mim

Anda o mundo concertado.

Ever in this world saw I
Good men suffer grave torments ,
But even more—
Enough to terrify—
Men who live out evil lives
Reveling in pleasure and in content .

Os Lusiadas

Ó grandes e gravíssimos perigos!
Ó caminho de vida nunca certo:
Que aonde a gente põe sua esperança,
Tenha a vida tão pouca segurança! No mar tanta tormenta, e tanto dano,
Tantas vezes a morte apercebida!
Na terra tanta guerra, tanto engano,
Tanta necessidade aborrecida!
Onde pode acolher-se um fraco humano,
Onde terá segura a curta vida,
Que não se arme, e se indigne o Céu sereno
Contra um bicho da terra tão pequeno?

What perils, numberless and imminent,
Ceaseless assail Life's mutable career!
Ev'n where we center all our fondest hopes,
They vanish like an unsubstantial dream.
At sea, what storms, what losses, man endures!
What cruel deaths the waves for him prepare!
On land, what sanguinary wars, what guile,
What wretchedness, what misery, prevail!
To what asylum shall frail man retreat?
Where pass secure the narrow span of life,
That placid Heaven, unruffled, may not launch
Its thunderbolt against so poor a worm.

Pois vens ver os segredos escondidos
Da natureza e do úmido elemento,
A nenhum grande humano concedidos
De nobre ou de imortal merecimento,
Ouve os danos de mim, que apercebidos
Estão a teu sobejo atrevimento,
Por todo o largo mar e pela terra,
Que ainda hás de sojugar com dura guerra.

Com'st thou to penetrate the mysteries
Of nature, and this humid element,
Which to no mortal yet have been reveal'd,
Whate'er his merit, or his deathless fame?
But listen! Thou shalt know what punishments
For thy bold daring are by me prepar'd,
Which on the spacious deep thou shalt endure,
And 'midst the regions thou shalt yet subdue
By force of arms.


Transforma-se o amador na cousa amada ,

Transforma-se o amador na cousa amada,
Por virtude do muito imaginar;
Não tenho, logo, mais que desejar,
Pois em mim tenho a parte desejada.

The lover becomes the thing he loves

The lover becomes the thing he loves
By virtue of much imagining;
Since what I long for is already in me,
The act of longing should be enough.

Amor é fogo que arde sem se ver

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

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

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

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

Love is a fire that burns unseen .

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

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

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

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

translated by Richard Zenith

Alles of niets willen in rust noch duur

Liefde is oplaaien in onzichtbaar vuur,

pijnen aanvoelen als een leniging.

en onvoldaan zijn in bevrediging,

wegteren aan een verholen kwetsuur,

Alles of niets willen in rust noch duur

en eenzaam gaan tussen de velen in,

zich onverzadigbaar verspelen in

een roekeloos duizelend avontuur,

En willoos uitgeleverd willen zijn

aan de genade van een overwonnen

alleseisende die ons leven breekt.

Wat zal de liefde dan van onbezonnen

mensen maken die zo verschillend zijn,

waar ze zichzelf al zo fel tegenspreekt?

Canto V

I spoke, when rising through the darkened air,

Appalled, we saw a hideous phantom glare;

High and enormous over the flood he towered,

And thwart 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...