My Retreat - Page 2 of 4

by Dr. José Rizal

(English version of “Mi Retiro”)

By night an arcanum; when translucent it glows,
All spangled over with its millions of lights,
And the bright sky above resplendent shows;
While the waves with their sights tell of their woes --
Tales that are lost as they roll to the heights.

They tell the world when the first dawn broke,
And the sunlight over their surface played;
When thousands of beings from nothingless woke,
To people the depths and the heights to cloak,
Wherever its life-giving kiss was laid.

But when in the night the wild winds awake,
And the waves in their fury begin to leap,
Through the air rush the cries that my mind shake;
Voices that pray, songs and moans that partake
Of laments from the souls sunk down in the deep.

Then from their heights the mountain groan,
And the trees shiver tremulous from great unto least;
The groves rustle plaintive and the herds utter moan,
For they say that the ghost of the folk that are gone
Are calling them down to their death's merry feast.

In terror and confusion whispers the night,
While blue and green flames flit over the deep;
But calm reigns again with the morning's light,
And soon the bold fisherman comes into sight,
And his bark rushes on and the waves sink to sleep.

So onward glide the days in my lonely abode;
Driven forth from the world where once I was known,
I muse o'er the fate upon me bestow'd;
A fragment forgotten that the moss will corrode,
To hide from mankind the world in me shown.

Learn this Filipino word:

buteteng laot