ARCADY

By Luis G. Dato

In Arcady, day after day, the earth,
After her chilly slumber, as of death,
Blooms with the sun to resurrected birth,
And the green land wakes with the morning’s breath.

There Nature trembles with her growth, a gay
Young music animates a rumorous land,
As though a t midnight, of a sudden, day
Burns through the forest, and with fairy wand

Scatters her light alongside with her flowers,
While gloom defeated to its caverns flies,
As in bright chariots through the golden hours,
Aurora moves, transfiguring the skies.

Beneath the tangle of wild leaves and vine,
Choked with the woods, the tender young palm thrives,
Throwing its leaves, while all around entwine
The strong arms· of the jungle, yet it lives.

Below a colonnade of coco trees,
Spare-boughed, with pale, thin leaves, the mango grows,
Vines press about it, and a hive of bees,
Yet still it stands, the forest’s secrets knows.

In Arcady are placid brooks which stand
Rippled and clear and green with growing things,
Save where some fish has breathed, or the winds fanned
The lily, or some leaves have dropped like wings.

We could have heard, had toward us blown the wind,
Far-off, the wild song of the shepherd boy,
The weird canlutang which he plays to find
Release from toil and tedium, while strange joy

Shouts far-off in the white-roofed school,
And in his rage, he sees with his mind’s eye,
The pictures bright, the room, the baskets full
Of flowers and fruits –for these he sends a sigh!

Meanwhile the brooks rush swiftly, silently,
And on the bare, black rocks, a little bird,
The green banks tower high, and not one cry
Or song within the solitudes is heard.

And yet the silent, little bird is gay,
It hops from rock to rock, in fluttering flight,
Rejoicing in its heart with immense day,
Clear, crystal waters laughing in the light.

Wrapped in a carpet of fine, shimmering grass,
The plains look like a rippling sea of green,
When o’er the roads the humid lake-winds pass,
Invisible sprites whose touch alone is seen.

Little we know that in the great, green heart
Of mountains glows a genial, fairy fire;
Splendid and pure, it rends the clouds apart,
And heaven draws to earth a little nigher.

And we who travel on the mournful lane
Of life, and seeing little of the way,
Take not what we might never find again,
Arcady lives unfound in every day!

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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