Luis de Camoes (c.1524-1580), the 'national poet' of Portugal, wrote the first epic poem which, in scope and universality, spoke for a modern world. 'The Lusiad' was the poem of European conquest and its moral misgivings, its human consequences. Camoes himself possesses qualities of the epic hero. He was Galician and Celtic in ancestry, descended from the trovador Perez Camoes. Though orphaned, he was a scholar, lover and soldier who bore deep injuries and long exile for empire and love and travelled the world for his King, returning to poverty, blindness and posthumous apotheosis. He embodies in himself and conveys in his poems the spirit of the age: hectic, ambitious, vulnerable, suspended between a real heaven and a real hell. He was Melville's favourite poet, and he has exerted a strong spell over other English-language writers, including Blake. Camoes was also a great lyric poet, and Keith Bosley has translated a generous selection of the shorter poems to go with his newly-translated extracts from 'The Lusiad.'