To the Flowers of Heidelberg

by Dr. José Rizal

(English version of “A las flores de Heidelberg”)

Go to my native land, go, foreign flowers,
Sown by the traveler on his way,
And there, beneath its azure sky,
Where all my afflictions lie;
There from the weary pilgrim say
What faith is his in that land of ours!

Go there and tell how when the dawn,
Her early light diffusing,
Your petals first flung open wide;
His steps beside chill Neckar drawn,
You see him silent by your side

Upon its Spring perennial musing,
Say how when morning's light,
All your fragrance stealing,
Whispers to you as in mirth,
Playful songs of Love's delight,
He, too, murmurs his love's feeling
In the tongue he learned at birth.

That when the sun of Koenigsthul's height
Pours out its golden flood,
And with its slowly warming light
Gives life to vale and grove and wood,
He greets that sun, here only apraising,
Which in his native land is at its zenith blazing.

And tell there of that day he stood,
Near to a ruin'd castle gray,
By Neckar's banks, or shady wood,
And pluck'd you beside the way

Tell, too, the tale to you addressed,
And how with tender care,
Your bending leaves he press'd
Twist pages of some volume rare.

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