On the Death of King Sebastian

by Luis Vaz de Camoes

Luis Vaz de Camoes

His generous visage gashed with heathen blade,
His Royal brow with dust and blood all wan,
Came to the mournful boat of Acheron
The great Sebastian, past into a shade.
The cruel boatman, seeing that undismayed
The King perforce would cross, pronounced his ban,
Vowing that never o'er that stream was man
Ferried, whose funeral rites were still unpaid.
The valorous King, whose anger knew no bounds,
Replied, Oh! false old man, and dost not know
Others by force of gold have passed before?
What! of a king all bathed in blood of Moor
Darest thou to claim that he a tomb shall show?
Claim it of him who comes with fewer wounds.

Last updated June 21, 2015