Like the Molave
By 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;
**Although the poem has been written years after Rizal’s death, after the war against the Spaniards has been over, he asks for Rizal not to rest just yet, because there are still battles that are to be fought, that the Filipinos are still weak as a result of our dependence on other nations. 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.
**Zulueta is trying to say here that there is still need for youth like him whose death has spread in the entire nation, and has been acclaimed as the man who fanned our cause for freedom. 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 time your marmoreal dream!
Until our people, seeing, are become
Like the Molave, firm, resilient, staunch,
rising on the hillside, unafraid,
Strong in its own fiber, yes, like the Molave!
**A Molave is a large Philippine timber tree, with a very hard yellow brown wood, durable for construction, boatbuilding, furniture and cabinet work, flooring, carving and joinery. In the poem likens the Filipino people to be like a Molave tree, who's sturdiness withstands weathering storms, and natures fury. Where no matter how it is bent, honed or chissled, it remains indestructible. The hardest part of the Molave tree is also its heart, likened to the indominability that a Filipino has to possess in order to hang on to its Independence.
We, the Filipinos of today, are soft,
Easy-going, parasitic, frivolous,
Inconstant, indolent, inefficient.
Would you have me sugarcoat you?
**In this stanza, he describes the Filipino youth of today being, inappropriately sill, lazy, fickle, and not producing any proper result.
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. **Here, although he wishes to commend or show approval to the his countrymen, he is faced with the fact that the youth of today are not worthy of it.
This is a testament of youth borne on the four pacific winds: This is a parable of seed four ways sown in stones;
This is a chip not only on the President’s shoulder;
The nation of our fathers shivers with longing expectation.
** Here, the disappointment is so strong that he likens the Filipino youth to even the parable of the seed sown in stones, where the blessings are thrown at and are caught in the crevices, but do not grow any root. Even our forefathers are disgruntled. 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
Lightning candles in the wind?
**He asks now, whether or not we should remain complacent to the times, and have our forefathers forever be hoping for a change that’s never going to happen. The answer is tomorrow and...