First Inspiration

For whom did Jose Rizal write “First Inspiration”?Many would probably say it was for Leonora Rivera, Rizal’s sweetheart for many years. Read on and find out how much this person inspired Rizal to be among the great men in history and literature.

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.

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