Song of Maria Clara in Noli Me Tangere

I saw that many people come to this blog to look for this. This is in Chp. 23 “A Fishing Expedition” (I’ll be writing a blog entry for that chapter as well). I think it’s a song for the martyrs and patriots.

Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) in English | Noli me tangere. Versión original (Narrativa) (Spanish Edition)

This is Harold Augenbraum’s English translation of it in his version of Noli Me Tangere. I have the book in Tagalog and the original Spanish so I’ll put those versions up as well in case you’re interested in the differences between the languages for this song. ( I know that there is the issue of translation–that subtle things may be lost due to translation from one language to another in an effort to match word for word.)

I’m not sure if this is the best translation of the song though.

Time in your homeland’s a sweet thing,
Where the sun shines, all is your friend.
Life is a light wind that blows in the fields,
Death more welcome, love so tender.

Burning kisses play on one’s lips
Upon waking, from a dear mother’s breast,
Arms seeking that neck to embrace,
And eyes on seeing her smile.

How sweet to die for your own land,
Where the sun shines all is your friend
Death is a light wind for any
Without homeland, without mother, without love.

The lines

Life is a light wind that blows in the fields,
Death more welcome, love so tender.

Burning kisses play on one’s lips

don’t make much sense. I read other English translations and found ones that flow better. Here are links to them:

oldpoetry.com
www.seasite.niu.edu

I like oldpoetry.com’s version best:

Sweet the hours in the native country,
where friendly shines the sun above!
Life is the breeze that sweeps the meadows;
tranquil is death; most tender, love.

Warm kisses on the lips are playing
as we awake to mother’s face:
the arms are seeking to embrace her,
the eyes are smiling as they gaze.

How sweet to die for the native country,
where friendly shines the sun above!
Death is the breeze for him who has
no country, no mother, and no love!

Because they use “warm” instead of “burning” (Augenbraum) or “ardent” (seasite’s) kisses. Also, the “tranquil is death” (oldpoetry.com) makes more sense than “death more welcome” (Augenbraum).

Tagalog Version by Pascual H. Poblete

!Sa sariling Baya’y catamistamisan
Ang lahat ng horas na nangagdaraan,
Palibhasa roo’y pawang caibigan
Ang lahat ng abot ng sicat ng araw.
Pang buhay na lubos, ang hanging amihang
Lumilipadlipad sa bundoc at parang,
Lubhang maligaya sampong camatay
At lalong matimyas ang pagsintang tunay!

Nagsisipagsaya sa labing marikit
Ang ganap sa ningas at wagas na halik
Nang mapag-arugang ina sa pag-ibig
Cung siya’y maguising na calong sa dibdib,
Tuloy hinahanap maguiliw na bisig
Na iniyayacap sa liguid ng liig
At ang mga mata’y pagca tumititig
Pawang ngumingiti sa galac na akit.

!Yaong camataya’y catamistamisan
Pagca nahahandog sa sariling Bayang
Ang lahat ng abot ng sinag ng araw
Ating cakilala’t pawang caibigan:
Pangpatay na lubos ang hanging amihan
Sa sino mang taong walang maisaysay
Na Bayang sariling pinacamamahal,
Inang maaruga’t isang casintahan!

The only real way to know which English translation is best is if you know Spanish and read the original words of Jose Rizal. I’ll come back to this song later on (probably much MUCH later on) after I finish this English translation. I don’t know which to read next: the Tagalog or the Spanish. I’m thinking the Tagalog version because I’m more familiar with the language and I’m actually trying to relearn it. However, I could try reading both the Tagalog and Spanish version at the same time since they’re both just as foreign to me (I took Spanish in high school and last year so really, the Spanish is more fresh in my head). I think the Spanish is in old Spanish though. Maybe reading both the Tagalog and Spanish while having the English as a guide will be the best way to go about this.

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