Antonio de Castro Alves

(14 March 1847 – 6 July 1871 / Curralinho)

O Navio Negreiro Part 6 (With English Translation) - Poem by Antonio de Castro Alves

Existe um povo que a bandeira empresta
P'ra cobrir tanta infâmia e cobardia!…
E deixa-a transformar-se nessa festa
Em manto impuro de bacante fria!…
Meu Deus! meu Deus! mas que bandeira é esta,
Que impudente na gavea tripudia?
Silêncio. Musa… chora, e chora tanto
Que o pavilhão se lave no teu pranto!…

Auriverde pendao de minha terra,
Que a brisa do Brasil beija e balança,
Estandarte que a luz do sol encerra
E as promessas divinas da esperança…
Tu que, da liberdade após a guerra,
Foste hasteado dos heróis na lança
Antes te houvessem roto na batalha,
Que servires a um povo de mortalha!…

Fatalidade atroz que a mente esmaga!
Extingue nesta hora o brigue imundo
O trilho que Colombo abriu nas vagas,
Como um iris no pélago profundo!
Mas é infâmia demais!… Da etérea plaga
Levantai-vos, heróis do Novo Mundo!
Andrada! arranca esse pendao dos ares!
Colombo! fecha a porta dos teus mares!

English Translation


A people exist who lean the flag
To cover such infamy and cowardice!..
And let it change at this feast
Into an impure mantle of a cold bacchante!
My God! My God! But which flag is this,
That imprudent on the topsail sways?
Silence. Muse…cry, and cry so much
That the flag be washed with your tears!

Gold-green flag of my land,
That the breeze from Brazil kisses and sways,
Flag that in the sunlight captures
The divine promises of hope…
You, who in the liberty after the war,
Were raised on the hero's lance
Rather had you been torn in the battle,
Then to serve as shroud to the people!

Atrocious fatality that the mind crushes!
Extinguish now the dirt brig,
The track that Columbus opened in the waves,
Like an iris in the deep abyss!
But this is too much infamy!.. of the ethereal land
Rise, heroes of the New World!
Andrada, rip that flag of the air!
Columbus, close the door of your seas!

Part One

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 3, 2010

Poem Edited: Wednesday, June 13, 2012


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