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Oh mountains so tall


Oh mountains so tall

Maria S. Mendes

Ó montes erguidos, Francisco de Sousa


     Abaix’esta serra,

    verei minha terra.

Ó montes erguidos,

deixai-vos cair,

deixai-vos somir

e ser destroídos,

pois males sentidos

me dam tanta guerra

por ver minha terra.


Ribeiras do mar,

Que tendes mudanças,

as minhas lembranças

deixai-as passar.

Deixai-mas tornar,

dar novas da terra,

que dá tanta guerra.




O sol escurece,

a noite se vem;

meus olhos, meu bem

já nam aparece.

Mais cedo anoitece

aquém desta serra

que na minha terra

Oh mountains so tall, translation Rita Faria


      Down with this mountain,

      my shore I’ll encounter


Oh mountains so tall,

let yourselves vanish,

let yourselves fall

and be banished,

for such aching pain

has started a war

to see my shore.


Tides of the sea,

Which change with time,

let my remembrances

have thoroughfare free.

Let them return,

bring news of the shore,

which causes such war.


The sun is darkened,

night is coming in;

my eyes, my love

will not come to thee.

Early comes nightfall

in this mountain so tall

not so in my shore

Francisco de Sousa was a navigator who went to Goa with Afonso de Albuquerque in 1509. He hastily returned to Portugal in 1511, which caused him to lose the position of captain. What Afonso de Albuquerque probably did not know was that Francisco de Sousa had returned to the homeland for the greater good – in fact, to kidnap and then marry D. Antónia de Meneses, with whom he had fallen in love, and who was a nun in a convent. Francisco’s nickname was thus “Macias”, in honour of a Galician poet who had become the symbol of lovers. He died in 1559. 

Rita Faria is a professor at the Catholic University of Portugal. She doesn’t know how to do anything else apart from reading and writing and wants to do nothing else apart from reading and writing. Besides this, she enjoys horror films, vampires, ghosts and zombies in general, and thinks the Portuguese language is the most fun in the whole world.