By Luis G. Dato

In the afternoon glare, without bugles,
Without flags, or the rumble of drum,
Straight when the foe least expects it,
Charges a line of cavalry home.

Now one comes dashing full-gallop,
A stout stick of bamboo astride,
Digging his spurs for all they were worth,
Raining whips this side and that side.

Next comes the resolute center,
Sword drawn for the close-range hail,
Studying the ground with precision,
Dragging his horse like a tail.

Last but not least comes the rearguard,
Dismounted in a cloud of dust,
Dripping with sweat and somewhat late,
Write that his steed has been lost

Oh, how shall the bugles be sounded,
Of fair, gallant cavalry no less,
Shall it be a retreat or reveille,
Or a call to the tub before mess?

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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