A La Virgen Maria
por José Rizal y Alonso
One night as Dr. José Rizal was visiting his parents in Calamba, he stepped out into the dark street as a man was passing. He failed to see that the passerby was one of the Civil Guards, and so did not salute. Suddenly a sword struck him across the back. When he recovered from the sword wound, which fortunately was not serious, he complained to the authorities. He was informed that the Civil Guard had done his duty, and that, instead of complaining, the victim ought to be thankful that he was alive.
It may have been while he was convalescing that he wrote his lonely sonnet to the Virgin Mary, -- the first sad poem he had written.