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On the World's Chaos and Confusion
Luís Vaz de Camões



Happy the man who never places
his small and humble fantasy
in anything greater than simply leading
his cattle to drink from the cold spring
and drawing their milk so that he can drink!
However Fortune may stir things up,
he’ll never feel any greater grief
than the weight of knowing his life is brief.

He’ll see the rising sun’s red face
and see the clear spring always flowing,
not wondering where the water comes from
nor who on the horizon hides the light.
Playing the flute where his cattle graze,
he’ll know the grass that covers the hill;
in God he’ll simply and calmly believe,
not pondering truths he can’t conceive.

This poem is in the public domain.


Luís Vaz de Camões (1524 - 1580) was a Portuguese poet whose penchant for romance and derring-do puts him right up there with Errol Flynn. An only child born to an aristocratic family and blessed with good looks, charm, education, and incessant joie de vivre, Luiz lacked one thing: restraint. Banished from Lisbon as a young man for a variety of infractions, he lost an eye in one early skirmish and went on to endure a lifelong maelstrom of royal favor, royal wrath, duels, debt, shipwrecks, imprisonment, love affairs and international intrigue--writing poetry all the while. Ultimately, he returned to Lisbon, where his poetry so pleased the king that Luiz was awarded a royal pension for the remainder of his life.

Post New Comment:
This poet ended up in the Portuguese colony of Macao, where I lived for a while, and built a lovely garden there that still exists.
Posted 10/02/2010 08:30 AM

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