Christovao Falcao

Christovao Falcao

Christovao Falcao

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Christovão Falcão (1512? – 1557; in modern Portuguese Cristóvão Falcão), sometimes Christovão Falcão de Sousa or Christovão de Sousa Falcão, was a Portuguese poet, that came of a noble family settled at Portalegre in the Alentejo, which had originated with John Falcon or Falconet, one of the Englishmen who went to Portugal in 1386 in the suite of Philippa of Lancaster. His father, João Vaz de Almada Falcão, was an upright public servant who had held the captaincy of Elmina on the West African coast, but died, as he had lived, a poor man.

There is a tradition that in boyhood Christovão fell in love with a beautiful child and rich heiress, D. Maria Brandão, and in 1526 married her clandestinely, but parental opposition prevented the ratification of the marriage. Family pride, it is said, drove the father of Christovão to keep his son under strict surveillance in his own house for five years, while the lady's parents, objecting to the youth's small means, put her into the Cistercian convent of Lorvão, and there endeavoured to wean her heart from him by the accusation that he coveted her fortune more than her person. Their arguments and the promise of a good match ultimately prevailed, and in 1534 D. Maria left the convent to marry D. Luís de Silva, captain of Tangier, while the broken-hearted Christovão told his sad story in some beautiful lyrics and particularly in the eclogue Chrisfal.

He had been the disciple and friend of the poets Bernardim Ribeiro...
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