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260 ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS.
Said the Sultan, " How came this ? Who struck this deadly-blow ? " " 'T was Don Juan d'Armada, who brought our pennons low." " I do not mourn the galleys, for I can build me more, But I regret my sailors that never will see shore. For Don Juan d'Armada give him the honor due ; He is the king of captains, since he has conquered you."
As in the Spanish romances, there are numerous allusions in the Portuguese ballads to the constant warfare waged with the Barbary corsairs, and the adventures of the unhappy captives who fell into their hands and were reduced to cruel servitude. A favorite theme with the ballad-writers was the rescue of the captive through the means of the Moorish damsel, who had fallen in love with him as she saw him laboring at his tasks. No doubt some such adventures actually happened, and at any rate the theme was one which appealed strongly to the imagination of the popular poets. This one ends with a touch of sentiment which might seem a modern addition, if the authenticity of the whole ballad was not vouched for by so careful a collector as Braga.
I sailed from Hamburg port one morn
Upon a bonny caravel. 'T was neither war nor peace at sea,
When pirate Moors upon us fell.