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                                     Chorus I

WHEN youthful Love was born
    Into the world came life,
        The stars received their light, the sun his rays
The Heavens glowed red that morn,
    And, vanquished in the strife,
        Darkness revealed all beauties to the gaze.
She that, high-throned, in fee
    Possesses the third sphere,
Born of the angry sea,
    Gave Love unto the world, her offspring dear.

‘Tis Love adorns the earth
    With grass and babbling burns,
        Paints every flower, each tree with foliage weights,
Fierce war to peace and mirth,
    Harshness to softness turns,
        Melting in thousand loves a thousand hates.
The lives by death, the dure,
    O’ercome, he doth renew ;
The world’s gay portraiture,
    So fresh and lovely, unto him is due.

¹ This was the first notable tragedy produced in modern Europe under the immediate
influence ot Greek art and methods. Its subject — the death of D. Ignez de Castro — is one
that has been treated by authors of all nations since the death of Ferreira, but never so
happily, if the episode in Canto III. of the Lusiads be excepted. The Chorus here trans-
lated comes from the First Act, and is a marked contrast to that in the Second. The former
is a light and lovely lyric ; the latter a grave and grandiose chorus in Sapphics. The one
was written to be sung, while nothing but recitation could do justice to the other.


His flames let no man fear,
    Though furious they rise,
        For they are loving ; gentle Love and sweet
Will dry each amorous tear
    That wells up through the eyes,
        And gladly grant when love-sick folk entreat.
Gold arrows, gleaming bright,
    In his full quiver ring,
Full deadly to the sight,
    Yet they are shot by Love and love they bring.

From every lyre on high
    Let loving ditties sound,
        And Love’s soft name the ambient air serene.
Let tears and sorrow fly,
    Let peace and joy abound,
        And make the rivers clear, the vales amene.
Let the sweet lyre of Love
    Fill Heaven with accents rare,
And the great God above,
    That love inspires, thence crown thee, Castro fair.

                                     Chorus II

Rather a Tyrant blind,
    Born of the poet’s brain,
Fierce lust, deceit unkind,
    God of the foolish, son of sloth ; the bane
And common wreck designed
Of glory and fair fame ;
He hurls, with reckless aim,
On every side his darts,
And Mars is burning, while Apollo smarts.

Winging his hurried flight
    He sets the earth on fire ;
His shafts of deadly might
    The more they miss, work mischief yet more dire.

84                              THE SAVOY

    He glories to unite
    Tempers the most opposed,
    And those for love disposed
    And like, to separate ;
    His thirst nor tears nor blood can ever sate.

Into the tender breast
    Of some pure modest maid,
As time and means suggest,
    He enters softly, or with force arrayed.
Fires long time set at rest
    He raises to a glow,
    Cool blood and age’s snow
    He kindles, and his dart,
    Shot by some beauteous eye, pierces the heart.

Thence spreads the poisonous blight
    Coursing through every vein ;
In dreams of fond delight
    The soul indulges, weaving webs inane.
Chaste modesty takes flight
    And virile constancy ;
    Death, following misery,
    Enters in softest guise,
    The heart is hardened and the reason dies.

Who took the iron mace,
    Once great Alcides’ pride,
Seating, in bondmaid’s place,
    The lion-tamer at a maiden’s side ?
The spoils of that dread chase
    Who changed to soft and fine
    Attire of feminine
    Estate, and made him learn,
    With horny hand, the distaff douce to turn ?

A thousand pictures show,
    To shapes a myriad turned,
Great Jupiter fallen low,
    Far from the Heavens, which, leaving, he has spurned.


How strong the charm that so
    The heart of man converts !
    How potent that subverts
    By craft the loftiest sprite,
    And plunges in vile sin, a woeful plight !

The Trojan’s mighty fame
    What other fire consumed ?
Or what Spain’s holy name
    To hand down mournful memories hath doomed ?
Blind love the twain o’ercame ;
    A cruel Boy that day
    Triumphed and both did slay,
    With blood and lives untold,
    To sate a foolish appetite ill-sold.

How blest is he that knew
    With stout heart to oppose
The arrow as it flew,
    Or quench the flames when first they angry rose !
Beloved of God a few
    Have gained from Heaven such grace,
    The most, with tearful face,
    Repent, whene’er they mind,
    Their vain submission to the Infant blind.

                                                                                 EDGAR PRESTAGE

MLA citation:

Prestage, Edgar. “From the ‘Ignez de Castro’ of Antonio Ferreira.” The Savoy vol. 3, July 1896, pp. 82-85. Savoy Digital Edition, edited by Christopher Keep and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2018-2020. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.