To Josephine

Rizal wrote this poem for Josephine Bracken, an Irish woman who went to Dapitan to have her father George Taufer (Bracken was his adopted daughter), treated for an eye problem. Rizal married her although without the Church’s blessing because Rizal didn’t agree to the priest’s precondition of retraction. Bracken conceived but had a stillbirth. 

Josephine, Josephine
Who to these shores have come
Looking for a nest, a home,
Like a wandering swallow;
If your fate is taking you
To Japan, China or Shanghai,
Don’t forget that on these shores
A heart for you beats high.

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