This poem is the English translation of Rizal’s Spanish poem entitled ‘Felicitation.’ It was one of the many poems he wrote while studying at the Ateneo. Rizal wrote this poem in 1875 (when he was 14 years old) through the encouragement of Fr. Sanchez.
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.