By Luis G. Dato

As from a sleep profound,
A long time in strange ground,
I woke to find my soul,
Young as when faint with thirst
Of love I knew it first.
Invincible and whole.

And this was all so strange,
This change – anulling change,
Which brought what passed before;
And strange it was to me,
In whom a memory
Still lived of what was o’er!

For as I live, I know
There was a long ago,
And recent yesterday,
A time of fleeting pleasure,
And sorrows without measure
That came, and passed away.

And surely as I stand
Above this wondrous stand,
I lived to love for years
In vain, and of the morrow
Lost hope in my deep sorrow,
And still recall the tears.

And surely I can say,
For yet and older day,
The soul progenitor
Of my own soul had lived
As I, and joyed or grieved,
Whiche’er the fate he bore.

A past existed surely,
However sweetly, purely,
The present lives in me;
And now so strange to seem,
Yet true with a dream,
The past is what may be!

A dream! a dream! and all
My pristine strength of soul
Returns as yesterday;
Unbound from chains of Time,
Triumphant as the slime
Of Man’s first animate to clay.

A dream! and nothing less,
A great, divine caress
Of grief and memory:
Across the fields of Time,
From death to life sublime,
It holds eternity.

— Philippine Magazine, January 1938

Luis Dato
Luis Dato

Luis G. Dato (July 4, 1906 - January 29, 1985) was a poet, writer and educator from Sta. Cruz, Baao, Camarines Sur. He published books in English including Manila A Collection of verse (1926), My Book of Verses (1936) and the Land of Mai in 1975. He also wrote several books and text in Bikol such as, Vocabulario Bikol-Ingles-Kastila (1963), Cantahon na Bikol (1969), Morfologia kan Tataramon na Bikol (serialized in Naga Times), Patotodon sa Bikol (Bikol Mail) and Sarabihon sa Bikol.


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