A CHRISTMAS PRAYER

By Luis G. Dato

And now as gladsome Christmas comes this year,
May it, O Lord, bring to us all good cheer,
May joy and happiness pervade the heart,
And from our homes the cloud of Care depart!

By night and day we live in mortal dread,
With peace to men of good will all but dead,
Dear Lord, as shines the Christmas star above,
Let reign on earth Thy mercy and Thy love.

In Thy name may humanity recall
That nations great and small are brethren all,
May they with the Three Kings bid war to cease,
Bearing Thy gift of universal peace.

With songs the shepherds danced this selfsame morn
Two thousand years ago when Thou were born,
Restore, O Lord, that gladness at Thy birth.
Encircling all the peoples of the earth.

For, Lord, in peace alone Thy gift of life
May we receive free from the stress of strife,
But war –it is the scourge, the endless blight
That turns our day into the fearsome night.

Lord, give us peace! May we all live to see
The battle flags furled all in amity,
The sword turned into plough shares, and the gun
Fall silent when the day of wrath is done.

Give vision to the rulers of the state
And righteousness, eschewing greed and hate,
Their laws, decrees as mystic chords to bind
In freedom all the nations of mankind.

In special form, may Thou our nation bless,
Thy mighty hand to save it from distress,
Grant that it keep the state in liberty,
And in abundance ever dwell in Thee.

Our helmsman new guide with unfailing hand,
With wisdom and with love to rule the land,
And lead, like Moses, to a happy fate,
Making the Philippines a nation great.

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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