Sunday, 22 February 2015

The LUSIAD, an Epic Poem - King Zamorin of Calicut gives audience to Vasco de Gama!


King Zamorin of Calicut giving audience to Vasco de Gama

The Zamorin - (Meaning King of Kings)

Here is an excerpt of the poem, originally written in Portuguese, and later translated into English.

It would be enlightening to the reader, the royalty and pomp that was seen by de Gama, which perhaps was never seen and heard of until this visit by any European nation.

The conversation between the Zamorin and de Gama, will be part of my blog very soon!

Trade and commerce existed with India, and was mostly carried out by the Arabs, referred to here as the Moors!

Though a reader could find many literature that abounds with discovery of India, never as this been penned down as a Poem, and such poetic expression, by far more elaborate and ...if I may be allowed to use the word 'magical', it would best summarise my thoughts as I share this part of a very long Poem.

The visit....

de Gama being led into the regal hall, by the Regent...

The Regent ceased; and now with solemn pace
The Chiefs approach the regal hall of grace.

The tap'stried walls with gold were pictured o'er,
And flowery velvet spread the marble floor.

In all the grandeur of the Indian state,
High on a blazing couch the Monarch sate,
With starry gems the purple curtains shined,
And ruby flowers and golden foliage twined
Around the silver pillars: High o'er head
The golden canopy its radiance shed:
Of cloth of gold the sovereigns's mantle shone,
And his high turban flamed with precious stone. 

Sublime and awful were his sapient mien,
Lordly his posture, and his brow serene.

An hoary sire submiss on bended knee,
(Low bow'd his head,) in India's luxury,
A leaf*, all fragrance to the growing taste,
Before the King each little while replaced.

The patriarch Brahmin, soft and slow he rose,
Advancing now to lordly Gama bows,
And leads him to the throne: in silent state
the Monarch's nod assigns the Captain's seat;

The Lucian train in humbler distance stand:

Silent the Monarch eyes the foreign band
With awful mien; 

When valiant Gama broke
The solemn pause, and thus majestic spoke;

From where the crimson sun of evening laves
His blazing chariot in western waves,
I come, the herald of a mighty King,
And holy vows of lasting friendship bring
To thee, O Monarch, of resounding fame
Far to the west has borne thy princely name,
All India's sovereign Thou! Nor deem I sue,
Great as thou art, the humble supplicant's due.

* A leaf - The Betel

The Zamorin graciously received Gama's credentials and promised to examine them at leisure, asking him to retire to rest.

Gama proposed to wait next day upon the Zamorin, but was informed that he must abide the Zamorin's commands, and also, that his second interview must be accompanied with a present, by the value of which the greatness of his royal master, and the importance of his own mission, would be measured!


I would be glad to receive your comments!


  1. Mesmerising Pure Magic and Beautifully Put It really Took Me To The Past I am really enthralled all the more because I am from Goa where Vasco the Gama made his entry in Old Goa

  2. Important event.
    Nicely shared :)

  3. Moving. The word Zamorin is possibly from Samuthiri, Sanskrit/Malayalam. "King of kings" may be an error. This blog has fascinating material on such topics. And this too.