MI ULTIMO ADIOS (NEW TRANSLATION BY LUIS L. GARCIA)
MANILA, December 30, 2003 (The Philippine Star 12/30/2003) In celebration of our National Hero's 107th death anniversary, we are publishing Mr. Luis L. Garcia's translation of Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios. Mi Ultimo Adios was written on the night before Rizal was executed in Bagumbayan. The poem was hidden inside a gas lamp that Rizal gave to one of his sisters.
Garcia has been working on a new translation of the famous poem, which, he says, aptly describes the present situation in the Philippines. He noted that there were at least three or four translations in the past. However, he felt compelled to create a new version that would take into consideration the poem's literary content, language imposed in the context of the past, Rizal's unrivaled command of the Spanish language, and his expressive style and genius, among others. "I have come up with what I feel faithfulle reflects all these," Garcia says in his email.
This new translation of Mi Ultimo Adios is preceded by the Order of Execution signed by Gov. Camilo de Polavieja.
Jose Rizal's Death Sentence
"In accordance with a previous resolution, I approve the sentence dictated by the regular War Council in the present matter, by virtue of which the death sentence was imposed on the felon Jose Rizal Nercado,. which shall be carried out by firing squad at seven in the morning of the 30th instance on the field of Bagumbayan and with the formalities prescribed by law. For carrying out the sentence and its corresponding details, refer to the instructing Judge, Captain Don Rafael Dominguez."
SGD. Camilo G de Polavieja, Governor General of the Philippines
Farewell! Land that I love, embraced by sun's caress The Pearl of Orient Seas, our Paradise so lost; Yours is the sad and dreary life that I possess, But had it been more brilliant, fresh or flower-tossed, All that it could have been, I'd have given you, no less.
On battlefields, deliriously men fight and strain To give their lives unselfishly without regret: Death's lily, victory's laurel wreath are both the same- And open field or gallows martyrdom beget When Fatherland demands that honor is to reign...
I have a tryst with Death when morning's early blush At last announces day to shed the sombre night; And if to tint your dawn, red must be on your brush, Pour forth my blood and gladly lend its crimson light, And gild it with a ray of morning's nascent flush!
My bygone dreams of adolescent carefree days, My dreams when as a man with vigor full endowed, Envisioned you, oh Orient Gem beyond all praise: Your dark eyes dry of tears, your head held high, unbowed, Unfurrowed and unwrinkled, unashamed your gaze...
My ardent, live desire, my life-long quest: My soul, soon to depart, shouts out its farewell cheer: Long may you live! To give you Life, I give my zest, I die to give you flight, and 'neath yout heavens clear In your enchanted earth eternally to rest!
Should you upon my grave one day espy A simple, a humble flower amid the tall grass nod, Then touch it to your lips, it is my soul that's nigh, That I may feel upon my brow beneath the sod How tender breeze, how sweet and warm your sigh...
Allow the rays serene of moon to round me throng, To kiss the dawn and end at last its splendor's search... Permit the breeze for accents sweet and grave to long, And if upon my cross some winged creature perch, Thn suffer it to stay and burst in peaceful song!
Allow the burning sun to vaporize the rain, It thus so purified in heaven joins my plea: Permit some friendly soul weep for me not in vain, And if at eventide someone shoud pray for me, Pray too, that in God's rest I may at last remain!
Yes, pray for all of those who shared misfortune's years, For all who suffered death or unsurpassed travails, Long suffering mothers whose only legacy was tears, For widows and for orphans, the tortured in their jails,- Pray for yourself, that freedom finally be near!
When to the graveyard's breast the dark of night will cling, The dead alone remain to keep their vigil drear: Do not disturb their mystery or let their sleep take wing: Perhaps the strains of harp or zither you may hear, "Tis I oh land of mine- and "tis to thee I sing!
And when my tomb naught but forgetfulness gives birth, And neither cross nor stone remain to mark its place: Let man then plow it under heedless of its worth... Before my ashes then unto oblivion race, They would be dust upon the carpet oy your earth!
It will not matter then if none my passing heed: Your atmosphere, your space, your valleys I will fly, A clean and vibrant note within your ear to seed: Aroma, light and hue, whisper, song and cry, Repeating constantly the essence of my creed...
Oh country that I've loved, my sorrow and my pain, Dear Philippines to this my last farewell pray heark: My loved ones and my loves I leave you there and fain Go where no executioners or tyrants may embark, Where faith can never kill, where only God can reign!
Farewell! Parents and brothers my soul you manifest, My childhood friends, the home I knew when as a boy! Give thanks eternal sleep at last will end my geste. Farewell! sweet alien of my heart , my friend, my joy: Farewell! dearly beloved ones, Death is but rest!
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Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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