Nautic inspiration engraved on solid earth
Oh salty sea, so much of your salt
Is tears of Portugal!
Because we crossed you, so many mothers wept,
So many sons prayed in vain!
So many brides remained unmarried
That you might be ours, oh sea!
Was it worthwhile? All is worthwhile
When the spirit is not small.
He who wants to go beyond the Cape
Has to go beyond pain.
God to the sea peril and abyss has given
But it was in it that He mirrored heaven.
Mar Português (after which the second part of Mensagem is named) is the capital short poem of Portuguese Literature and also Pessoa's best known poem in his homeland. It sums up the cost of conquering the seas in terms of human suffering and asks "Was it worthwhile?" immediately replying with two resounding sentences "All is worthwhile when the spirit is not small" and "He who wants to go beyond the Cape has to go beyond pain". The poem then concludes in a grand manner with the statement that God created the sea dangerous but it was in it that He chose to mirror the sky that symbolizes heaven!
João Manuel Mimoso