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Jose Rizal

(1861-1896 / Philippines)

A Tribute to My Town


When I remember the days
that saw my early childhood
spent on the green shores
of a murmurous lagoon;
when I remember the coolness,
delicious and refreshing,
that on my face I felt
as I heard Favonius croon;

when I behold the white lily
swell to the wind’s impulsion,
and that tempestuous element
meekly asleep on the sand;
when I inhale the dear
intoxicating essence
the flowers exude when dawn
is smiling on the land;

sadly, sadly I recall
your visage, precious childhood,
which an affectionate mother
made beautiful and bright;
I recall a simple town,
my comfort, joy and cradle,
beside a balmy lake,
the seat of my delight.

Ah, yes, my awkward foot
explored your sombre woodlands,
and on the banks of your rivers
in frolic I took part.
I prayed in your rustic temple,
a child, with a child’s devotion;
and your unsullied breeze
exhilarated my heart.

The Creator I saw in the grandeur
of your age-old forests;
upon your bosom, sorrows
were ever unknown to me;
while at your azure skies
I gazed, neither love nor tenderness
failed me, for in nature
lay my felicity.

Tender childhood, beautiful town,
rich fountain of rejoicing
and of harmonious music
that drove away all pain:
return to this heart of mine,
return my gracious hours,
return as the birds return
when flowers spring again!

But O goodbye! May the Spirit
of Good, a loving gift-giver,
keep watch eternally over
your peace, your joy, your sleep!
For you, my fervent pryers;
for you, my constant desire
to learn; and I pray heaven
your innocence to keep!

Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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  • Anthony Cabal (11/3/2012 10:22:00 AM)

    Intricate poem personifying one's care for one's motherland during times of incursions, revolutions and civil war.10/10! (Report) Reply

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