By Luis G. Dato

Bells of olden years and hoary,
What remembrancers!
Telling of an unremembered
Glory long once theirs.

Mission bells that from the distance,
Told of God and war,
Now from throats grass-grown and rusty,
Come the petals no more.

Tuneful bells that proud Castilla
Brought with cross and sword,
Planted with the sign of Jesus
And His holy word.

Bells of frantic, wild alarm,
Islam’s warrior boats,
While in disarray and terror,
Crowds traverse the moats!

Chimes that from the stone cathedrals,
Would in glee outpour,
While the pigeons flew and fluttered,
Past the steeple door.

And in merry festive Aprils,
Bells, what golden chimes,
Pouring forth high benediction
In delirious rhymes!

Tidings from the moss-lined steeple,
Turret and tall spire,
While around the children hearkened
Hymns from up the choir.

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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