Segue o Teu Destino

My new favourite poem by Ricardo Reis, one of Fernando Pessoa’s many personas:

Segue o teu destino,
Rega as tuas plantas,
Ama as tuas rosas.
O resto é a sombra
De árvores alheias.

A realidade
Sempre é mais ou menos
Do que nós queremos.
Só nós somos sempre
Iguais a nós-próprios.

Suave é viver só.
Grande e nobre é sempre
Viver simplesmente.
Deixa a dor nas aras
Como ex-voto aos deuses.

Vê de longe a vida.
Nunca a interrogues.
Ela nada pode
Dizer-te. A resposta
Está além dos deuses.

Mas serenamente
Imita o Olimpo
No teu coração.
Os deuses são deuses
Porque não se pensam.

A rough English translation (please correct this if it’s inaccurate):

Follow your destiny
Water your plants
Love your roses
The rest is just the shadow
Of other people’s trees

Is always more or less
Than we want
We alone are always
Equal to ourselves

It’s easy to live
It’s great and noble always
To live simply
Leave pain on the altar
Like a votive offering to the gods

Look at life from afar
Never question it
It can’t tell you
Anything. The answer
Is beyond the gods

But serenely
Imitate Olympus
In your heart
The gods are gods
Because they never think of themselves

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