To the Reader

Fond reader, here my thanks I bow,
If to my toil worth you'll allow.
Though meek the mind wherefrom they flow,
My lines serve them who deeper go.

This seems unsweet, unmellowed quite,
To judge its taste by surface-sight:
But savored well, it shall requite
The curious one, to his delight

I do not ask fro praise full won:
Deride my verse, thereof make fun –
The harp is yours, your wish be done,
But of my lines, please alter none.

If parts obscure should halt your eyes,
Judge not in haste, and such revise;
Their why and wherefore analyze,
And you shall find them clear, precise.

Should any line with notes be found,
Perplexing you because profound,
Address your glance to lower ground:
The meaning there, it doth expound. [6]

But here I stop, keen one attending,
So not to meet with Siegmund's [7] ending,
Whose words at first with sweetness blending
Turned bitter with too much amending.

[6] The author invites the reader to refer to his footnotes. These, however, have been omitted in Mabini's manuscript. They are merely explanations of allusions to Greek mythology, which allusions may today be looked up in any standard dictionary or encyclopedia.

[7] The allusion to Siegmund = is vague, but an acceptable explanation has been offered by the late Julian Cruz Balmaceda who believed that Balagtas might have referred to a literary work of his own times, Salita at Buhay na Pinagdaanan ni Segismundo... which went through so many revisions that it lost more and more of its original delights.

Learn this Filipino word:

waláng kamáy

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