To Celia - Page 2 of 2

Withal unbidden, back they creep –
Glad days whose waning I beweep,
When we would haste our river-dip
Ere tidal brine should inward seep.

It seems I hear the words you cried:
Three days the sight has been denied,
To which I cheerfully replied:
For one there's always more aside.

No thoughts arise, forsooth, but go
Over the joys we used to know,
Whereat I suffer tears flow
And sigh my fate: Ah, me! Ah, woe!

Where is Celia, my ecstasy?
O why could Love no flowering see?
Where are the days her glance could be
As Life – and Soul – and Heav'n to me?

O why, when Love had sighed farewell,
Did not Life bid adieu as well?
Each mem'ry, Celia, rings my knell –
My heart shall never escape your spell.

This grief – O past enduring blight,
This grief for you – O lost delight,
Bestirs me verses to indite,
To sing of one in woeful plight.

My muse I know is faint, distraught;
How doleful, Celia, is her note;
But if not spurned, not vain's her lot –
Haply you'd lend her ear and thought.

First harvest in my mind's retreat,
This fruit I offer at your feet
Though tasteless, take it, I entreat:
Your vassal's heart presents it, Sweet.

Though scorn and scoff it may receive,
My gains would yet these pains retrieve,
If as you read a sigh you'd heave
For him who does these verses weave.

Lake Bai's [4] nymphs of joy profuse,
Sirens whose melodies seduce,
I do invoke thee: Pray, enthuse
The erstwhile listless, timid Muse.

Come shoreward, farther up retire!
Come, blend your voices with my lyre
That sings: although the breath expire,
Love – deathless – is its one desire.

Fair flower of my Fancy, you
Celia, or M.A.R., unto
Our Virgin pray for F.B. [5] who
Is sworn your slave forever true.

[4] Like Bai, or Laguna de Bay = is a lake in the province of Laguna some six miles from Pandacan and is drained by the Pasig River.

[5] F.B. = are the initials of the post, Francisco Baltasar. The ending is typical of Tagalog dedicatory verse.

Learn this Filipino word:

bulók ang kamáy