1. TO MY FELLOW CHILDREN
Whenever people of a country truly love
The language which by heav'n they were taught to use
That country also surely liberty pursue
As does the bird which soars to freer space above.
For language is the final judge and referee
Upon the people in the land where it holds sway;
In truth our human race resembles in this way
The other living beings born in liberty.
Whoever knows not how to love his native tongue
Is worse than any best or evil smelling fish.
To make our language richer ought to be our wish
The same as any mother loves to feed her young.
Tagalog and the Latin language are the same
And English and Castilian and the angels' tongue;
And God, whose watchful care o'er all is flung,
Has given us His blessing in the speech we calim,
Our mother tongue, like all the highest that we know
Had alphabet and letters of its very own;
But these were lost -- by furious waves were overthrown
Like bancas in the stormy sea, long years ago.
2. MY FIRST INSPIRATION (Mi Primera Inspiracion, 1874)
Why falls so rich a spray
of fragrance from the bowers
of the balmy flowers
upon this festive day?
Why from woods and vales
do we hear sweet measures ringing
that seem to be the singing
of a choir of nightingales?
Why in the grass below
do birds start at the wind's noises,
unleashing their honeyed voices
as they hop from bough to bough?
Why should the spring that glows
its crystalline murmur be tuning
to the zephyr's mellow crooning
as among the flowers it flows?
Why seems to me more endearing,
more fair than on other days,
the dawn's enchanting face
among red clouds appearing?
The reason, dear mother, is
they feast your day of bloom:
the rose with its perfume,
the bird with its harmonies.
And the spring that rings with laughter
upon this joyful day
with its murmur seems to say:
'Live happily ever after!'
And from that spring in the grove
now turn to hear the first note
that from my lute I emote
to the impulse of my love.
3. FELICITATION (Felicitacion, 1875)
If Philomela with harmonious tongue
To blond Apollo, who manifests his face
Behind high hill or overhanging mountain,
So we as well, full of a sweet contentment,
Salute you and your very noble saint
With tender music and fraternal measures,
From all your sisters and your other kin
Receive most lovingly the loving accent
That the suave warmth of love dictates to them
Placid and tender.
From amorous wife and amiable Emilio
Sweetly receive an unsurpassed affection;
And may its sweetness in disaster soften
The ruder torments.
As the sea pilot, who so bravely fought
Tempestuous waters in the dark of night,
Gazes upon his darling vessel safe
And come to port.
So, setting aside all [worldly] predilections,
Now let your eyes be lifted heavenward
To him who is the solace of all men
And loving Father.
And from ourselves that in such loving accents
Salute you everywhere you celebrate,
These clamorous vivas that from the heart resound
Be pleased to accept.
4. THE EMBARKATION, a hymn to Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet (El Embarque: Himno a la Flota de Magallanes, 1875)
One beautiful day when in East
The sun had gaily brightened,
At Barrameda with rejoicing great
Activities everywhere reigned.
‘Tis cause on the shores the caravels
Would part with their sails a-swelling;
And noble warriors with their swords
To conquer unknown world are going.
And all is glee and all is joy,
All is valor in the city.
Everywhere the husky sounds of drums
Are resounding with majesty.
With big echoes thousands of salvos
Makes at the ships a roaring cannon
And the Spanish people proudly greet
The soldiers with affection.
Farewell! They say to them, loved ones,
Brave soldiers of the homeland;
With glories gird our mother Spain,
In the campaign in the unknown land!
As they move away to the gentle breath
Of the cool wind with emotion,
They all bless with a pious voice
So glorious, heroic action.
And finally, the people salute
The standard of Magellan
That he carries on the way to the seas
Where madly roars the hurricane.
5. AND HE IS SPANISH: ELCANO, THE FIRST TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE THE WORLD (Y Es Espanol: Elcano, el Primero en dar la Vuelta al Mundo, December 1875) Where does that frail ship go
That proudly cruises on
And ploughs the distant seas
To seek the lands unknown?
Who's the brave and invincible,
That from far down the West
Sails on the expansive world
To yonder roseate East?
Of Spain he's a heroic son,
A Titan new of Pirene,
Who with fury fights against,
If it holds him, the hurricane.
He's Elcano who undertakes
A task that enchants the world ;
To accomplish it he vows
And its vastness him doesn't hold.
And to red-tailed eagle akin
That soars high in the wind
With an unequalled flight
And with a movement swift,
Of the blowing storm that roars,
He scorns the horrible hiss ;
And mocks with kingly air
The lightning's shattering noise.
And like a craggy rock
No impetuous ocean in rage
Or the fury of hurricanes
Him can change or disengage ;
Such is the invincible
Elcano, when cruising through
The waves, with his Spanish ships,
Their rage they might'ly subdue.
Triumphant crosses he
The vast roundness of the globe
With exceptional bravery
He measured the extensive orb.
A thousand laurels crown
Defender of Spain, your brow ;
And a brilliant diadem
Now proudly decorates you.
6.The Battle: Urbiztondo, Terror of Jolo (El Combate: Urbiztondo, Terror de Jolo, December 1875)
A hundred war-tried ships
At the mercy of the gentle wind,
Leave behind Manila bay
-The ruffled sea they plough.
A short while they descry
The Moros of Jolo
Who with pride they raise
A thousand waving flags.
And when the soldiers strong
Had alighted on the shores
And pointed all their guns
Against the enemy's wall,
With manly accent spoke
The general : "Soldiers of mine,
Upon your valor depends
The rich glory of victory.
"I would prefer to die
Rather than desist from attack ;
To thee the country entrusts
Her noble, sacred seals."
Said he ; and like Notus fierce
By horrid lightning hedged in
In furious tempests it sows
Sad weeping and mourning around ;
So Urbiztondo unsubdued
His soldiers following him,
He spreads death everywhere
With cold steel in his hand.
And like a lion in the woods
He roars, engendering fear,
As he looks upon the prey
That with havoc he devours;
So the noted fighting men
With fury and frenzied fright,
Approach the barricades
As they give a headlong assault.
And the Castiles' lion shakes
His forelock wrathfully
And readies his pointed claws
To spread tears everywhere.
Eight bastions, do surrender
Of the Moros of Jolo
To the furious rattle of Mars
And Urbiztondo's assault.
Ah ! They're the ones, noble Spain,
Like Lepanto's heroes they are,
At Pavia they're the ones
Who're the thunderbolt of war.
The fire consumes and devours
The castles and palaces
And all the Joloans own
At our soldiers fierce attack.
Perfidious Mahumat flees,
Tyrannical and godless Sultan,
And the warriors valorous
March into Jolo as they sing.
7. THE TRAGEDY OF ST. EUSTACE (La Tragedia de San Eustaquio, June 1876) 8. IN MEMORY OF MY TOWN (Un Recuerdo A Mi Pueblo, 1876)
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
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!
9. INTIMATE ALLIANCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND GOOD EDUCATION (Alianza Intima Entre la Religion y la Buena Educacion, 1876)
As the climbing ivy over lefty elm
Creeps tortuously, together the adornment
Of the verdant plain, embellishing
Each other and together growing,
But should the kindly elm refuse its aid
The ivy would impotent and friendless wither
So is Education to Religion
By spiritual alliance bound.
Through Religion, Education gains renown, and
Woe to the impious mind that blindly spurning
The sapient teachings of Religion, this
Unpolluted fountain-head forsakes.
As the sprout, growing from the pompous vine,
Proudly offers us its honeyed clusters
While the generous and loving garment
Feeds its roots; so the fresh’ning waters
Of celestial virtue give new life
To Education true, shedding
On it warmth and light; because of them
The vine smells sweet and gives delicious fruit.
Without Religion, Human Education
Is like unto a vessel struck by winds
Which, sore beset, is of its helm deprived
By the roaring blows and buffets of the dread
Tempestuous Boreas, who fiercely wields
His power until he proudly sends her down
Into the deep abysses of the angered sea.
As the heaven’s dew the meadow feeds and strengthens
So that blooming flowers all the earth
Embroider in the days of spring; so also
If Religion holy nourishes
Education with its doctrines, she
Shall walk in joy and generosity
Toward the Good, and everywhere bestrew
The fragrant and luxuriant fruits of Virtue.
10.EDUCATION GIVES LUSTER TO THE MOTHERLAND (Por la Educacion Recibe Lustre la Patria, 1876)
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 heaven...