O salty sea, so much of whose salt
Is Portugal’s tears! All the mothers
Who had to weep for us to cross you!
All the sons who prayed in vain!
All the brides-to-be who never
Married for you to be ours, O sea!
Was it worth doing? Everything’s worth doing
If the soul of the doer isn’t small.
Whoever would go beyond the Cape
Must go beyond sorrow.
God placed danger and the abyss in the sea,
But he also made it heaven’s mirror.
About this poem
This poem, representing Portugal, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.