Friday, January 20, 2012

Mi Ultimo Adios (English Translation and Interpretation)

Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell)
This 14-stanza poem of Jose Rizal talks about his “Goodbyes” to his dear Fatherland where his love is dedicated to. He wrote it on the evening before his execution.

Farewell, dear Fatherland, clime of the sun caress'd
Pearl of the Orient seas, our Eden lost!,
Gladly now I go to give thee this faded life's best,
And were it brighter, fresher, or more blest
Still would I give it thee, nor count the cost.

On the field of battle, 'mid the frenzy of fight,
Others have given their lives, without doubt or heed;
The place matters not-cypress or laurel or lily white,
Scaffold or open plain, combat or martyrdom's plight,
T is ever the same, to serve our home and country's need.

I die just when I see the dawn break,
Through the gloom of night, to herald the day;
And if color is lacking my blood thou shalt take,
Pour'd out at need for thy dear sake
To dye with its crimson the waking ray.

My dreams, when life first opened to me,
My dreams, when the hopes of youth beat high,
Were to see thy lov'd face, O gem of the Orient sea
From gloom and grief, from care and sorrow free;
No blush on thy brow, no tear in thine eye.

Dream of my life, my living and burning desire,
All hail ! cries the soul that is now to take flight;
All hail ! And sweet it is for thee to expire ;
To die for thy sake, that thou mayst aspire;
And sleep in thy bosom eternity's long night.

If over my grave some day thou seest grow,
In the grassy sod, a humble flower,
Draw it to thy lips and kiss my soul so,
While I may feel on my brow in the cold tomb below
The touch of thy tenderness, thy breath's warm power.

Let the moon beam over me soft and serene,
Let the dawn shed over me its radiant flashes,
Let the wind with sad lament over me keen ;
And if on my cross a bird should be seen,
Let it trill there its hymn of peace to my ashes.

Let the sun draw the vapors up to the sky,
And heavenward in purity bear my tardy protest
Let some kind soul o 'er my untimely fate sigh,
And in the still evening a prayer be lifted on high
From thee, 0 my country, that in God I may rest.

Pray for all those that hapless have died,
For all who have suffered the unmeasur'd pain;
For our mothers that bitterly their woes have cried,
For widows and orphans, for captives by torture tried
And then for thyself that redemption thou mayst gain.

And when the dark night wraps the graveyard around
With only the dead in their vigil to see
Break not my repose or the mystery profound
And perchance thou mayst hear a sad hymn resound
'T is I, O my country, raising a song unto thee.

And even my grave is remembered no more
Unmark'd by never a cross nor a stone
Let the plow sweep through it, the spade turn it o'er
That my ashes may carpet earthly floor,
Before into nothingness at last they are blown.

Then will oblivion bring to me no care
As over thy vales and plains I sweep;
Throbbing and cleansed in thy space and air
With color and light, with song and lament I fare,
Ever repeating the faith that I keep.

My Fatherland ador'd, that sadness to my sorrow lends
Beloved Filipinas, hear now my last good-by!
I give thee all: parents and kindred and friends
For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends,
Where faith can never kill, and God reigns e'er on high!

Farewell to you all, from my soul torn away,
Friends of my childhood in the home dispossessed !
Give thanks that I rest from the wearisome day !
Farewell to thee, too, sweet friend that lightened my way;
Beloved creatures all, farewell! In death there is rest!


                The first stanza speaks about Rizal’s beautiful description of his Fatherland. He used the biblical Eden to describe the Pre-Hispanic Philippines which is an imaginary time of purity and innocence. He adores the beautiful country that he and others are fighting for. He said that he is glad to give his life to Filipinas even though his life was brighter, fresher, or more blest than it is now – pertaining to the time when he wrote the poem.

            The second stanza speaks about the men who gave their life to his beloved country. Rizal said that their dedication and patriotism to the country is without second thoughts. It doesn’t matter how one struggles, that all struggles, all deaths, are worth it if it is for the good of the country.

            The third stanza speaks about Rizal’s love of liberty. The image of dawn that Rizal used in the first line signifies the liberation that he adores. In the third and fourth line, he says that if the colour of liberation lacks his blood, he must die for the country to attain freedom.

            The fourth stanza presents the flashback of Rizal’s love for the patria that started when he was young. He was young when he saw the martyrdom of the GOMBURZA and promised that he would dedicate himself to avenge one day for those victims. His dreams were to see his country in eminent liberation, free from sorrow and grief.

            The fifth stanza repeats Rizal’s dream of complete liberation. “All Hail!” signifies that he is positively welcoming the dawn of freedom after his death. He also repeats what he has said in the third stanza that it is his desire to dedicate his life to the Patria.

            The sixth stanza describes the image of Rizal’s grave being forgotten someday. The grassy sod may represent the country’s development, the growth of liberty, and that with the redemption of the country, he becomes forgotten. Rizal does not say here that he wants monuments, streets, or schools in his name, just a fond kiss and a warm breath so he could feel he is not forgotten.

            In the seventh stanza, Rizal says he wants to see or feel the moon, dawn, wind, and a bird over his grave. The moon’s beam may represent a night without its gloom like a country without its oppressors. The imagery of dawn has been repeated here and its radiant flashes represent the shining light of redemption that sheds over his honour. Only the wind will lament over his grave. The bird does not lament him but sings of peace, the peace that comes with liberation and the peace with which he rests below.

            In the eighth stanza, the metaphor of the sun drawing the vapors up to the sky signifies that the earth is being cleansed by the sun like taking away the sorrows and tears that has shed including his last cry. Line 3 reminds us to remember why he died – for the redemption of the country. And he wants to hear a prayer in the still evening – evening because he may also want to see a beam of light from the moon which he stated in the stanza 7, and that it is before the dawn. Prayers he stated that will make him rest in peace in God’s hands.

            Rizal said in the ninth stanza that he also wants his fellowmen to also pray for others who also have died and suffered for the country. Also pray for the mothers, the orphans and widows, and the captives who also have cried and have tortured, and again, for his soul to rest in peace.

            The tenth stanza says that Rizal’s tomb is on the graveyard with the other dead people. Rizal says that in the night, he does not want to be disturbed in his rest along with the others and the mystery the graveyard contains. And whenever we hear a sad song emanating from the grave, it is he who sings for his fatherland.

            In the eleventh stanza, Rizal says a request that his ashes be spread by the plough before it will no longer take significance. His ashes represent his thoughts, words, and philosophy making it his intellectual remains. The symbolic ashes should be spread all over Filipinas to fertilize the new free country long after he is forgotten.

            The twelfth stanza again speaks about being forgotten but Rizal does not care about it anymore. Oblivion does not matter for he would travel far and wide over his beloved fatherland. He keeps his faith with him as he sings his hymn for the nation.

            Rizal says goodbye to his adored Fatherland in the thirteenth stanza. He gives goodbye to his parents, friends, and the small children. He gives everything to Filipinas. Now, he satisfies his death by saying he will be going to a place where there is peace – no slaves, no oppressors, no killed faith. He is going to a place where God rules over – not the tyrants.

            Finally, in the last stanza, Rizal cries his farewell to all his fellowmen – his childhood friends, and his sweet friend that lightened his way. In the last line, he repeats that “In Death there is rest!” which means that he, being ready to be executed, is happy to die in peace.



  1. Wow! Your interpretation is so great.. It helps me a lot to my report! Thanks for posting it!

  2. Thank you. uhmm. i referred to the interpretation of BOB COUTTIE on wordpress.

    thanks for reading my work. :)

  3. he imagery of dawn has been repeated here and its radiant flashes represent the shining light of redemption that sheds over his honour. Only the wind will lament over his grave. The bird does not lament him but sings of peace, the peace that comes with liberation and the peace with which he rests below.----> Can you explain it for me? Medyo naguguluhan ako dito eh!


  5. Thank you for this :) it helps me a lot :) thanks thanks :) more power :)

    1. you are welcome. and thank you. :)

  6. how nice!! this helps me a lot! thank you!

  7. Are you classmates with the 2 previous users who commented for the last 2 consecutive days? (you're the third. hehe) and it's your homework for the week to also make an interpretation of the poem? haha. well, i hope i did inspire your thoughts regarding this poem. you are welcome and thank you for droppin' by. :)

  8. thankyou for this :)

  9. so whose INTERPRETATION is this? you should've indicated whether it is yours or not because actually there are different people of different perspective who tried to interpret the poem and yet few really got excellent in their works,like AUSTIN COATES' interpretation.Candidly, this is good but some points are empty that are concealed only by bombastic eloquence. shallow but nice try though.

    1. johnjalanie, the blogger ACTUALLY INDICATED HIS SOURCE. As you said, people have different perspectives about things. I think you overlooked YOURSELF being judgmental about his post. Humble humble din po pag may time. ;)

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. sorry? but i think you have misinterpreted my point. As i came across and scroll through the page, no sources has been CLEARLY indicated. One more thing, i'm not overlooking myself, i'm just being a whole man of frankness. As i said, we have different views and this is my view on this. The blogger posted, I appreciate, I criticize. You may or may not (intently) learn from that. Finally, I don't think my comment comprises of harsh words. As for me, it is constructive criticism. :D

  12. huwag na kasing magcomment kung criticism lang din pala ang ilalagay mo .. mind your own business

  13. Whose translation is this?

  14. MSU'an ka tlga .. HEHE:)) well, ur work seems really appreciated by anyone. keep up the good work!

  15. feed the fishes! :))

  16. I like "where faith does not kill" vs. "no killed faith." I think it is important. Men of the cloth killed Rizal. Remember how they arranged the removal of Governor General Ramon Blanco who approved Rizal's request to go to Cuba in favor of Polavieja who rushed Rizal's trial and execution.

  17. thank you! It helped me... God Bless!

  18. wow good job :) its a great interpretation .. it helps me for our proj :)

  19. your fishes are reeeeealllllyyyyyyy hungry o u o)/

  20. thanks this helped me big time :)

  21. thank you so much. it helps me a lot. all hail. two thumbs up to the author (y) (y)

  22. hi! can i have the specific reference on coutti's interpretation? that would be a great help!

  23. Hi! Did you get this information from the book?
    May i know the reference or source you used??
    Thank u :-)

  24. Hi! Did you get this information from the book?
    May i know the reference or source you used??
    Thank u :-)

  25. Thanks for this sir! May I have a permission to use this for school purposes thanks! I'll use the link below as my reference. thanks a lot again!

  26. thanks for this! god bless!