Antonio de Castro Alves

(14 March 1847 – 6 July 1871 / Curralinho)

O Navio Negreiro Part 2 (With English Translation) - Poem by Antonio de Castro Alves

Que importa do nauta o berço,
Donde é filho, qual seu lar?
Ama a cadência do verso
Que lhe ensina o velho mar!
Cantai! que a morte é divina!
Resvala o brigue à bolina
Como golfinho veloz.
Presa ao mastro da mezena
Saudosa bandeira acena
As vagas que deixa após.


Do Espanhol as cantilenas
Requebradas de langor,
Lembram as moças morenas,
As andaluzas em flor!
Da Italia o filho indolente
Canta Veneza dormente,
— Terra de amor e traiçao,
Ou do golfo no regaço
Relembra os versos de Tasso,
Junto às lavas do vulcao?


O Inglês — marinheiro frio,
Que ao nascer no mar se achou,
(Porque a Inglaterra é um navio,
Que Deus na Mancha ancorou),
Rijo entoa patrias glóorias,
Lembrando, orgulhoso, históorias
De Nelson e de Aboukir.. .
O Francês — predestinado —
Canta os louros do passado
E os loureiros do porvir!


Os marinheiros Helenos,
Que a vaga jônia criou,
Belos piratas morenos
Do mar que Ulisses cortou,
Homens que Fidias talhara,
Vao cantando em noite clara
Versos que Homero gemeu…
Nautas de todas as plagas,
Vós sabeis achar nas vagas
As melodias do céu!…




English Translation

What matters the sailor's cradle,
Where from he is son, where is his home?
Loves the cadence of the verse
Which the old sea teaches him!
Sing! Because death is divine!
The brig slides the bowline
Like a fast dolphin.
Tight to the mizzen mast
A nostalgic flag signs
To the waves left behind.

From the Spanish, the canticles
Broken in a languorous dance,
Remind the dark young women,
The blooming Andalusians!
From Italy, the indolent son,
Sings a sleeping Venice,
- Land of love and betrayal,
Or from the gulf in its lap
Reminds the verses of Tasso,
By the lava of a volcano!

The Englishman - cold sailor,
Since birth in the sea,
(For as England is a ship, which
God in the Channel anchored),
Vigorous, recites his country's glories,
Remembering, proud, histories
Of Nelson and Aboukir…
The Frenchman - predestined -
Sings the glories of the past
And the honours of tomorrow!

The Hellenic sailors,
Whom the Ionic wave created,
Beautiful dark pirates
From the sea that Ulysses crossed,
Men that Phydias engraved,
Keep on singing in the clear night
Verses that Homer moaned…
Sailors from all lands,
You know how to find on the waves
The melodies of Heaven!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 3, 2010

Poem Edited: Wednesday, June 13, 2012


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