The members of the society requested him to write a poem, He expressed his emotional sentiments through his poem even though he doesn’t find it easy to write poems any more, he tried to write and finish what he have started. During the time he was writing the poem, he can’t find any inspiration to write, he felt very sad that as if he was an outcast or separated from everyone; He feels lonely as if his soul is being squeezed or torn into pieces, that when he will write something it seems that it would turn out a joke out of great sadness; In this great sadness he can’t feel nor express himself well while writing and talks about his memories from the past that he cherish and longs for.
The poem also speaks about the place of origin of the poet who is Rizal and the place where he originated and came from is our very own country, Philippines.
They ask me to play on a lyre
That long has been still and decayed,
But never a note have I played,
Nor can I the Muse re-inspire.
She chats without reason or fire
Until she has tortured my brain.
She chuckles to jeer at my pain;
She has mocked me the while I lamented.
In my soul, lonely, sad, and tormented,
Neither pleasure nor sorrow remain.
There once was a time, it is true–
A time that, alas, has departed.
When friends who were generous-hearted,
Applauded the verse I could do.
Of those happy days but a few
Obscured recollections yet stay,
As after some high holiday,
Still linger mysterious sounds;
Or, after the concert resounds,
The after tones whisper away.
For I am a plant immature,
Torn out of the Orient where
The perfumes sleep on the air
And life is a dream to allure.
Ah, memories ever endure,
My Country, of songs taught to me
By warbling birds from the tree,
The waterfall’s silvery roar,
And out on the far-reaching shore,
The moan of the sounding sea.
While yet I was merely a child
I knew how to smile at your sun,
And inside my breast had begun,
Like volcanic fires to burn wild,
The desire that the verses complied
By a poet’s keen vigorous mind,
Might cry to the swift moving wind;
“Speed away, and sing to proclaim
To the furthermost zones, of Her fame.
In earth and in heaven enshrined!”
I left Her, my Motherland home,
A tree stripped of leaves and turned dry.
Now gone are the carols that I
Once sang, e’er I started to roam
And churned the vast ocean’s white foam,
To escape from my dread destiny:
Too foolish as yet to foresee
That instead of the good which I sought,
I should plow from the ocean waves naught
But a specter of death haunting me.
For all of my dream laden hours,
Love, eagerness, castles in air,
Beneath the blue skies I left there
In that faraway region of flowers.
Ah, do not appeal to my powers
To sing about love, for, like lead,
My heart is weighed down, and in dread
I roam through this waste without peace;
The pangs in my soul never cease,
And all inspiration is dead.