RIZAL'S POEMS IN ENGLISH

A Martyrs hopes, dreams, aspirations,  and goodbyes

Poems

Last Poem of Rizal

To The Philippines

Our Mother Tongue

Memories Of My Town

Hymn To Labor

Kundiman

A Poem with no title

Song Of Maria Clara

To The Philippine Youth

To Josephine

Education Gives Luster To The Motherland    

To The Virgin Mary

fiesta-CarlosVFrancisco1946.jpg (865649 bytes)
Carlos V. Francisco, 1946



Last Poem of Rizal


His friend Mariano Ponce gave it the title of MI ULTIMO ADIOS, as it originally had none

          Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caressed,
Pearl of the Orient Sea, our Eden lost,
With gladness I give you my Life, sad and repressed;
And were it more brilliant, more fresh and at its best,
I would still give it to you for your welfare at most.

         On the fields of battle, in the fury of fight,
Others give you their lives without pain or hesitancy,
The place does not matter: cypress laurel, lily white,
Scaffold, open field, conflict or martyrdom's site,
It is the same if asked by home and Country.

         I die as I see tints on the sky b'gin to show
And at last announce the day, after a gloomy night;
If you need a hue to dye your matutinal glow,
Pour my blood and at the right moment spread it so,
And gild it with a reflection of your nascent light!

         My dreams, when scarcely a lad adolescent,
My dreams when already a youth, full of vigor to attain,
Were to see you, gem of the sea of the Orient,
Your dark eyes dry, smooth brow held to a high plane
Without frown, without wrinkles and of shame without stain.

         My life's fancy, my ardent, passionate desire,
Hail! Cries out the soul to you, that will soon part from thee;
Hail! How sweet 'tis to fall that fullness you may acquire;
To die to give you life, 'neath your skies to expire,
And in your mystic land to sleep through eternity !

         If over my tomb some day, you would see blow,
A simple humble flow'r amidst thick grasses,
Bring it up to your lips and kiss my soul so,
And under the cold tomb, I may feel on my brow,
Warmth of your breath, a whiff of your tenderness.

         Let the moon with soft, gentle light me descry,
Let the dawn send forth its fleeting, brilliant light,
In murmurs grave allow the wind to sigh,
And should a bird descend on my cross and alight,
Let the bird intone a song of peace o'er my site.

         Let the burning sun the raindrops vaporize
And with my clamor behind return pure to the sky;
Let a friend shed tears over my early demise;
And on quiet afternoons when one prays for me on high,
Pray too, oh, my Motherland, that in God may rest I.

         Pray thee for all the hapless who have died,
For all those who unequalled torments have undergone;
For our poor mothers who in bitterness have cried;
For orphans, widows and captives to tortures were shied,
And pray too that you may see you own redemption.

         And when the dark night wraps the cemet'ry
And only the dead to vigil there are left alone,
Don't disturb their repose, don't disturb the mystery:
If you hear the sounds of cithern or psaltery,
It is I, dear Country, who, a song t'you intone.

         And when my grave by all is no more remembered,
With neither cross nor stone to mark its place,
Let it be plowed by man, with spade let it be scattered
And my ashes ere to nothingness are restored,
Let them turn to dust to cover your earthly space.

         Then it doesn't matter that you should forget me:
Your atmosphere, your skies, your vales I'll sweep;
Vibrant and clear note to your ears I shall be:
Aroma, light, hues, murmur, song, moanings deep,
Constantly repeating the essence of the faith I keep.

         My idolized Country, for whom I most gravely pine,
Dear Philippines, to my last goodbye, oh, harken
There I leave all: my parents, loves of mine,
I'll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen
Where faith does not kill and where God alone does reign.

         Farewell, parents, brothers, beloved by me,
Friends of my childhood, in the home distressed;
Give thanks that now I rest from the wearisome day;
Farewell, sweet stranger, my friend, who brightened my way;
Farewell, to all I love. To die is to rest.



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To The Philippines


Rizal wrote the original sonnet in Spanish

A glowing and fair like a houri on high,
Full of grace and pure like the Morn that peeps
When in the sky the clouds are tinted blue,
Of th' Indian land, a goddess sleeps.

The light foam of the son'rous sea
Doth kiss her feet with loving desire;
The cultured West adores her smile
And the frosty Pole her flow'red attire.

With tenderness, stammering, my Muse
To her 'midst undines and naiads does sing;
I offer her my fortune and bliss:
Oh, artists! her brow chaste ring
With myrtle green and roses red
And lilies, and extol the Philippines!



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Our Mother Tongue


A poem originally in Tagalog written by Rizal when he was only eight years old

IF truly a people dearly love
         The tongue to them by Heaven sent,
They'll surely yearn for liberty
         Like a bird above in the firmament.
BECAUSE by its language one can judge
         A town, a barrio, and kingdom;
And like any other created thing
         Every human being loves his freedom.
ONE who doesn't love his native tongue,
         Is worse than putrid fish and beast;
AND like a truly precious thing
         It therefore deserves to be cherished.
THE Tagalog language's akin to Latin,
         To English, Spanish, angelical tongue;
For God who knows how to look after us
         This language He bestowed us upon.
AS others, our language is the same
         With alphabet and letters of its own,
It was lost because a storm did destroy
         On the lake the bangka 1 in years bygone.

1 Tagalog term for canoe



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Memories Of My Town


When I recall the days
That saw my childhood of yore
Beside the verdant shore
Of a murmuring lagoon;
When I remember the sighs
Of the breeze that on my brow
Sweet and caressing did blow
With coolness full of delight;

When I look at the lily white
Fills up with air violent
And the stormy element
On the sand doth meekly sleep;
When sweet 'toxicating scent
From the flowers I inhale
Which at the dawn they exhale
When at us it begins to peep;

I sadly recall your face,
Oh precious infancy,
That a mother lovingly
Did succeed to embellish.
I remember a simple town;
My cradle, joy and boon,
Beside the cool lagoon
The seat of all my wish.

Oh, yes! With uncertain pace
I trod your forest lands,
And on your river banks
A pleasant fun I found;
At your rustic temple I prayed
With a little boy's simple faith
And your aura's flawless breath
Filled my heart with joy profound.

Saw I God in the grandeur
Of your woods which for centuries stand;
Never did I understand
In your bosom what sorrows were;
While I gazed on your azure sky
Neither love nor tenderness
Failed me, 'cause my happiness
In the heart of nature rests there.

Tender childhood, beautiful town,
Rich fountain of happiness,
Of harmonious melodies,
That drive away my sorrow!
Return thee to my heart,
Bring back my gentle hours
As do the birds when the flow'rs
Would again begin to blow !

But, alas, adieu! E'er watch
For your peace, joy and repose,
Genius of good who kindly dispose
Of his blessings with amour;
It's for thee my fervent pray'rs,
It's for thee my constant desire
Knowledge ever to acquire
And may God keep your candour!



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Hymn To Labor



For the Motherland in war,
For the Motherland in peace,
Will the Filipino keep watch,
He will live until life will cease!

MEN :

Now the East is glowing with light,
Go! To the field to till the land,
For the labour of man sustains
Fam'ly, home and Motherland.
Hard the land may turn to be,
Scorching the rays of the sun above...
For the country, wife and children
All will be easy to our love.

(Chorus)

WIVES :

Go to work with spirits high,
For the wife keeps home faithfully,
Inculcates love in her children
For virtue, knowledge and country.
When the evening brings repose,
On returning joy awaits you,
And if fate is adverse, the wife,
Shall know the task to continue.

(Chorus)

MAIDENS :

Hail! Hail! Praise to labour,
Of the country wealth and vigor!
For it brow serene's exalted,
It's her blood, life, and ardor.
If some youth would show his love
Labor his faith will sustain :
Only a man who struggles and works
Will his offspring know to maintain.

(Chorus)

CHILDREN :

Teach, us ye the laborious work
To pursue your footsteps we wish,
For tomorrow when country calls us
We may be able your task to finish.
And on seeing us the elders will say :
"Look, they're worthy 'f their sires of yore!"
Incense does not honor the dead
As does a son with glory and valor.


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Kundiman


Truly hushed today
Are my tongue and heart
Harm is discerned by love
And joy flies away,
'Cause the Country was
Vanquished and did yield
Through the negligence
Of the one who led.

But the sun will return to dawn;
In spite of everything
Subdued people
Will be liberated;
The Filipino name
Will return perhaps
And again become
In vogue in the world.

We shall shed
Blood and it shall flood
Only to emancipate
The native land;
While the designated time
Does not come,
Love will rest
And anxiety will sleep.


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A Poem that has no title


To my Creator I sing
Who did soothe me in my great loss;
To the Merciful and Kind
Who in my troubles gave me repose.

Thou with that pow'r of thine
Said: Live! And with life myself I found;
And shelter gave me thou
And a soul impelled to the good
Like a compass whose point to the North is bound.

Thou did make me descend
From honorable home and respectable stock,
And a homeland thou gavest me
Without limit, fair and rich
Though fortune and prudence it does lack.



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Song Of Maria Clara


Sweet are the hours in one's own Native Land,
         All there is friendly o'er which the sun shines above;
Vivifying is the breeze that wafts over her fields;
         Even death is gratifying and more tender is love.

Ardent kissed on a mother's lips are at play,
         On her lap, upon the infant child's awakening,
The extended arms do seek her neck to entwine,
         And the eyes at each other's glimpse are smiling.

It is sweet to die in one's own Native Land,
         All there is friendly o'er which the sun shines above;
And deathly is the breeze for one without
         A country, without a mother and without love.



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To The Philippine Youth


Unfold, oh timid flower !

Lift up your radiant brow,
This day, Youth of my native strand !
Your abounding talents show
Resplendently and grand,
Fair hope of my Motherland !

Soar high, oh genius great,
And with noble thoughts fill their mind;
The honor's glorious seat,
May their virgin mind fly and find
More rapidly than the wind.

Descend with the pleasing light
Of the arts and sciences to the plain,
Oh Youth, and break forthright
The links of the heavy chain
That your poetic genius enchain.

See that in the ardent zone,
The Spaniard, where shadows stand,
Doth offer a shining crown,
With wise and merciful hand
To the son of this Indian land.

You, who heavenward rise
On wings of your rich fantasy,
Seek in the Olympian skies
The tenderest poesy,
More sweet than divine honey;

You of heavenly harmony,
On a calm unperturbed night,
Philomel's match in melody,
That in varied symphony
Dissipate man's sorrow's blight;

You at th' impulse of your mind
The hard rock animate
And your mind with great pow'r consigned
Transformed into immortal state
The pure mem'ry of genius great;

And you, who with magic brush
On canvas plain capture
The varied charm of Phoebus,
Loved by the divine Apelles,
And the mantle of Nature;

Run ! For genius' sacred flame
Awaits the artist's crowning
Spreading far and wide the fame
Throughout the sphere proclaiming
With trumpet the mortal's name

Oh, joyful, joyful day,
The Almighty blessed be
Who, with loving eagerness
Sends you luck and happiness



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To Josephine



Josephine, Josephine
Who to these shores have come
Looking for a nest, a home,
Like a wandering swallow;
If your fate is taking you
To Japan, China or Shanghai,
Don't forget that on these shores
A heart for you beats high.


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Education Gives Luster To The Motherland


Wise education, vital breath
Inspires an enchanting virtue;
She puts the Country in the lofty seat
Of endless glory, of dazzling glow,
And just as the gentle aura's puff
Do brighten the perfumed flower's hue:
So education with a wise, guiding hand,
A benefactress, exalts the human band.

Man's placid repose and earthly life
To education he dedicates
Because of her, art and science are born
Man; and as from the high mount above
The pure rivulet flows, undulates,
So education beyond measure
Gives the Country tranquility secure.

Where wise education raises a throne
Sprightly youth are invigorated,
Who with firm stand error they subdue
And with noble ideas are exalted;
It breaks immortality's neck,
Contemptible crime before it is halted:
It humbles barbarous nations
And it makes of savages champions.

And like the spring that nourishes
The plants, the bushes of the meads,
She goes on spilling her placid wealth,
And with kind eagerness she constantly feeds,
The river banks through which she slips,
And to beautiful nature all she concedes,
So whoever procures education wise
Until the height of honor may rise.

From her lips the waters crystalline
Gush forth without end, of divine virtue,
And prudent doctrines of her faith
The forces weak of evil subdue,
That break apart like the whitish waves
That lash upon the motionless shoreline:
And to climb the heavenly ways the people
Do learn with her noble example.

In the wretched human beings' breast
The living flame of good she lights
The hands of criminal fierce she ties,
And fill the faithful hearts with delights,
Which seeks her secrets beneficent
And in the love for the good her breast she incites,
And it's th' education noble and pure
Of human life the balsam sure.

And like a rock that rises with pride
In the middle of the turbulent waves
When hurricane and fierce Notus roar
She disregards their fury and raves,
That weary of the horror great
So frightened calmly off they stave;
Such is one by wise education steered
He holds the Country's reins unconquered.

His achievements on sapphires are engraved;
The Country pays him a thousand honors;
For in the noble breasts of her sons
Virtue transplanted luxuriant flow'rs;
And in the love of good e'er disposed
Will see the lords and governors
The noble people with loyal venture
Christian education always procure.

And like the golden sun of the morn
Whose rays resplendent shedding gold,
And like fair aurora of gold and red
She overspreads her colors bold;
Such true education proudly gives
The pleasure of virtue to young and old
And she enlightens out Motherland dear
As she offers endless glow and luster.


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To The Virgin Mary


Mary, sweet peace, solace dear
Of pained mortal ! You're the fount
Whence emanates the stream of succor,
That without cease our soil fructifies.

From thy throne, from heaven high,
Kindly hear my sorrowful cry !
And may thy shining veil protect
My voice that rises with rapid flight.

Thou art my Mother, Mary, pure;
Thou'll be the fortress of my life;
Thou'll be my guide on this angry sea.
If ferociously vice pursues me,
If in my pains death harasses me,
Help me, and drive away my woes !

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