The poem opens with a dedication to King Sebastian, after which the author proceeds directly to the story of the Vasco da Gama expedition, which resulted in the opening of the sea route to India. Druzhina Luza – in the Middle Ages it was believed that the Roman name of Portugal Lusitania came from the name of a certain Luza – they leave their native shores. While the heroes are fighting the sea element, the gods gather on Olympus to decide the fate of lusitan. Bacchus, who considers himself the ruler of India, is afraid of losing his power and influence in these parts and inclines the gods to doom the Lusitan to death for his impertinence, but the patronage of Jupiter, Mars and Venus saves the brave.
Meanwhile, travelers reach the shores of Africa, where boats with natives swim to their ships. From them the Lusitanians learn that the island, near which they anchored, is called Mozambique and that its indigenous population is committed to Islam, although it is under the rule of Christians. The natives offer travelers their helmsman who will help them get to the shores of India. The next day the ruler of the island comes to the Lusitanians. Having listened to the story of the strangers about their native places, about the purpose of their journey, he gets to them with sharp envy and decides to seize their ships. Bacchus, who did not abandon, despite the decision of the Council of the Gods, the plan to destroy the travelers, assumes the guise of a sage, whose
After a while, the Lusitanians swim to the island of Kiloa, famous for its wealth, but the patronizing goddess of the Tsiter disturbs the tranquility of the elements, and because of the strong wind, sailors can not get to the island where they would be expected to host a hostile reception. Then the insidious helmsman announces that there is another island nearby, Mombasa, where Christians live, although in reality he is inhabited by irreconcilable and belligerent Muslims. Swim to Mombasa, the Portuguese drop anchor. Soon there are Moors who invite the Portuguese ashore, but Vasco da Gama first sends with them only two sailors, so that they are convinced that the island really live Christians. Bacchus, keenly watching the travelers, this time assumes the appearance of a Christian priest and introduces the messengers into error. But when the next day the armada goes to the island, Venus and obedient nymphs, raising her terrible excitement on the sea, block her way, Vasco da Gama, realizing that his ships saved Providence, sends praise to heaven, and Venus asks Jupiter to protect the people she patronizes from the machinations of Bacchus. Touched by her pleas, Jupiter reveals to her that the ships of Vasco da Gama are destined to swim to the shores of India and that Mozambique, Diu, and Goa will subsequently bow before the Portuguese.
The next island, which travelers meet on their way – Malindi, about the sincerity and honesty of the ruler whom the Portuguese have already heard. The messenger of Vasco da Gama tells King Malindi of the misadventures of the travelers, and the friendly ruler of the island the next day himself is on the ship Vasco da Gama to testify to that his respect. The Portuguese warmly greet the king and his retinue, cordially show him the whole ship. The amazed ruler Malindi is interested in the country from where the travelers arrived, her story. Vasco da Gama talks about the past of his homeland, about its heroes, their deeds, about the change of kings, about the courage of the Portuguese, their conquests, about how he decided on such an enterprise. Shocked, the ruler Malindi arranges in honor of travelers a magnificent celebration,
In the meantime, Bacchus, not tired of repairing obstacles to the Portuguese, descends into the underwater possessions of Neptune and calls for that revenge on the Lusitanians for his defiant desire to conquer new lands and seas, thereby encroaching on the authority of Neptune. Bacchus does not hide from the lord of the sea – he himself fears the Portuguese to the point that he is ready to violate the will of Jupiter and the decision of the council of the gods. Indignant Neptune agrees to punish seafarers. In the meantime, night falls and sleep overcomes travelers. In order not to doze off, one of them decides to recall the exploits of the twelve Portuguese gentlemen, who at the time of Joao I went to England to defend the honor of twelve English ladies. The story interrupts the news of the approach of the strongest storm; it was sent by Neptune to death to the sailors. Although Lusitanians courageously and selflessly struggle with the elements, their ships are ready to go to the bottom, and then Vasco da Gama turns to Providence for help. His prayer is heard – the wind ceases.
Finally, the travelers reach the shores of India. Among the crowd surrounding the messenger Vasco da Gama, there is an Arab who knows Spanish. He ascends to the ship Vasco da Gama and tells him about this land, its people, their beliefs and customs. Then Vasco da Gama goes to the ruler of these lands and invites him to conclude an agreement on friendship and trade. While the ruler gathers a council to decide what answer to give to the Portuguese, they invite to their home the ship of Katual, one of the rulers of these lands. Showing him hanging everywhere portraits of his illustrious ancestors, travelers once again remember their history.
Bacchus makes another attempt to prevent the Lusitanians: he is in a dream to one of the Indian Muslims and warns against the strangers. Waking up, this man gathers coreligionists, and they together go to the master, before whom they accuse the Portuguese of bad thoughts and robberies. This makes the master think. He calls Vasco da Gama and throws him in the face of accusations heard from his subjects, but the brave Portuguese proves his innocence and gets permission to return to the ship. Learning from one of the Moors that Muslims are waiting for the merchant fleet from Mecca, hoping with his help to crack down on the Portuguese, Vasco da Gama makes the decision immediately to go on the return journey, especially as the weather favors the journey. However, he is greatly distressed,
Venus continues to take care of the seafarers and, in order to give them a rest, sends a beautiful vision – the island of Love, where the nymphs and Nereids who joyfully meet heroes live. Here, the joy of love, happiness, peace awaits travelers. At parting, one of the nymphs opens the future to the Lusitanians: they will learn how the Portuguese will establish themselves on the lands they have met on the way and, most importantly, in India, what will happen in their homeland, which will always praise their brave heroes. This lofty thanksgiving in honor of the participants of the campaign ends the poem.