Poetika at Literatura

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Like the Molave

ni R. Zulueta da Costa

Not yet, Rizal, not yet. Sleep not in peace;
There are a thousand waters to be spanned;
There are a thousand mountains to be crossed;
There are a thousand crosses to be borne,
Our shoulders are not strong; our sinews are
Grown flaccid with dependence, smug with ease
Under another's wing.

Rest not in peace;
Not yet, Rizal, not yet. The land has need
Of young blood and, what younger than your own,
Forever spilled in the great name of freedom,
Forever oblate on the altar of
The free?

Not you alone, Rizal

O souls
And spirits of the martyred brave, arise!
Arise and scour the land! Shed once again
Your willing blood! Infuse the vibrant red
Into our thin, anemic veins; until
We pick up your Promethean tools and, strong,
Out of the depthless matrix of your faith
In us, and on the silent cliffs of freedom,
We carve for all the time your marmoreal dream!
Until your people, seeing, are become
Like the molave, firm, resilient, staunch,
Rising on the hillside unafraid,
Strong in its own fibre; yes, like the molave!

We, the Filipinos of today, are soft,
easy going, parasitic, frivolous
Inconstant, indolent, inefficient.
Would you have me sugarcoat you?
I would be happier to shower praise upon
my countrymen... but let us be realists...
let us strip ourselves...
Youth of the land, you are a bitter pill to swallow.
This is a testament of youth borne on the four pacific winds;
This is a parable of seed four ways sown in stone;
This is a chip not only on the President's shoulder,
The nation of our fathers shivers with long longing expectation
Shall we, sons and daughters, brother youths of the land,
Walk up now and forever knock the flirting chip off?
Or will the nation of our fathers be forever and forever
Lighting candles in the wind?

They say the molave is extinct,
But they are blind or will not see.
Stand on the span of any river, and lo!
Relentlessly to and fro, cross and recross, molave!

Yes, molave strides roads into the darkest core!
Yes, molave builds seven thousand bridges in blood!

Bagumbayan planted the final seed.
Balintawak nurtured the primal green

Molave, uprooted and choked, will not succumb.
Molave presses on and will not be detained.

Let Spain speak.
Let American speak.

Copyright © 2011 by J. Estoque
All Rights Reserved

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