by Luis G. Dato

A foul disease our nation’s body tears
Apart, and from the torture wild with pain,
The nation struggles utterly, in vain
A curse on her has fallen unawares!

The wound grows deeper, and no mortal dares
Rescue the flesh from its malignant reign,
The bravest falter and the wise refrain,
Passing to others duty truly theirs.

The hours spell death, the wound, the ancient curse,
Harrows the nation with a lot unblest,
The sinews of her strength, her spirit bleed,
Her sons, it seems, her plight have all forgot,
Mortal the wound, and fangs rapacious feed
And hiss to all men, “Touch not, touch me not!’

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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