Jose Rizal

(1861-1896 / Philippines)

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!

Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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