Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | June 27, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Our Mother Tongue

by Jose Rizal (1861 – 1896).

Our Mother Tongue

(A poem originally written in Tagalog by Rizal when he was only eight years old)

IF truly a people dearly love
The tongue to them by Heaven sent,
They’ll surely yearn for liberty
Like a bird above in the firmament.

BECAUSE by its language one can judge               5
A town, a barrio, and kingdom;
And like any other created thing
Every human being loves his freedom.

ONE who doesn’t love his native tongue,
Is worse than putrid fish and beast;                     10

AND like a truly precious thing
It therefore deserves to be cherished.

THE Tagalog language’s akin to Latin,
To English, Spanish, angelical tongue;
For God who knows how to look after us              15
This language He bestowed us upon.
AS others, our language is the same
With alphabet and letters of its own,
It was lost because a storm did destroy
On the lake the bangka1 in years bygone.            20

1 Tagalog term for canoe

Notes:
http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/rizal.html
http://hubpages.com/hub/jose-rizal

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