Love of Country - a poem by Andres Bonifacio

Thursday May 05, 2016 ()

Andres Bonifacio Love of Country

(Translated from Tagalog by Epifanio delos Santos, its orignal title is "Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Bayan")

Is there any love that is nobler Purer and more sublime Than the love of the native country? What love is? Certainly none.

Though the mind may not cease reflecting And sifting with perseverance What humanity has printed and written: That will be the result, none other.

Love of Country - a poem by Andres Bonifacio

Sacred lovel when thou reignest In a loyal heart, be it even A plebeian's, a rustic's untutored Thou makest it grand and revered.

To give the fatherland boundless honor Is the purpose of all who are worthy And who sing, or compose, or make verses To spread their country's glory.

There is nothing worth having the patriot Will not give for his native land: Blood and wealth, and knowledge and effort, Even life, to be crushed and taken.

Why? What thing of infinite greatness Is this, that all knees should be bended Before it? that it should be held higher Than the things most precious, even life?

Ah! the land it is that gave us birth, Like a mother, and from her alone Came the pleasant rays like the sun's That warmed the benumbed body.

To her we owe the first breath That enlivened the breast oppressed And smothered in the abyss Of pain and grievous suffering.

With the love of country are coupled All dreams and all ideals, From joyful, restless childhood Till the grave receives the body.

The times gone-by of gladness And the day to come that we sigh for When the yoke shall be taken from us: What are they but dreams of the patriot?

And every tree and branchlet Of its woods and its laughing meadows, Bring back to the mind the memory Of the mother and past days of gladness.

Its crystalline cooling waters That flow from the springs in the mountains, The soft murmur of swift current Are balm to the heart that is drooping.

Unhappy the exile from his country! His mind, full of sad recollections, Is haunted by anxious longing For the land where stood his cradle.

Misfortune and death seem lighter When we suffer them for our country, And the more that for it we suffer, The more our love grows-oh, marvell

If our land with danger is threatened And help must be quickly forthcoming, Children, wife, and parents and brothers At her first call we must abandon.

And if our land, Filipinas, Is offended, and outraged her honor And her dignity into the mire Is dragged by the foreign impostor:

Will by boundless grief not invaded Be the heart of the Filipino? And will not the most peaceful even Rise to avenge her honor?

And whence will it come, the vengeance, The sacrifice of our life blood, If at the end of the struggle, We shall fall into cruel bondage?

If to her fall and prostration Into the mire of fraud and derision Will be added the lash and the shackles, Naught being left her but mourning?

Who is there whom her condition Will not fill the soul with sorrow? Will the heart most hardened by treachery Not be moved to give her its life bood?

Will not, perchance, her sorrow Drive the Filipinos to come to the rescue Of the mother in agony, trampled Underfoot by the foe disgusting?

Where is Filipino honor? Where the blood that must be set flowing? Their country in peril-why passive? Will they calmly see her suffer?

Come ye, who have been living Of future felicity dreaming, And have tasted naught but sorrow, Come, love your unhappy country.

Ye, in whom the struggling desire Has dried the springs of the bosom, May true love again be born in you And flow for your suffering country.

Ye, who have lost the fruit and the flower Of the trees of this life, withered early By so many perplexing sorrows, Revive and succor your country.

Ye, who are propitious victims Of deceit and bestial rigor, Arise now to save your country, Free her from the claws of the traitor

Ye, wretches, who nothing demanded But to live 'midst sorrows and torments, Strike a blow to save your country, Since she is our common mother.

Unto her in holocaust loving The last drop of your blood you must offer, If to free her your life you have given, Yours is glory then and redemption.

Sources:

  1. Andres Bonifacio by Epifanio delos Santos, The Philippine Review, January/February 1918, Volume 1, Number 1/2
  2. Proto credit: http://www.rappler.com/


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