Water and Fire
by Dr. José Rizal
(English version of “El Agua y el Fuego”)
Water are we, you say, and yourselves fire;
so let us be what we are
and co-exist without ire,
and may no conflagration ever find us at war.
But rather, fused together by cunning science
within the cauldrons of the ardent breast,
without rage, without defiance,
do we form steam, fifth element indeed:
progress, life, enlightenment, and speed!
(Translated into English by Nick Joaquin)