By Luis G. Dato

High on the banks of a river,
Green-crowned with many a vine,
Far though I bide in vision,
I see the home of mine.

The swallows round its window
Fly down and round again,
When, from the kiss of flowers,
They twitter in the rain.

There many a day a boatman
Passes how quietly by,
A load of stone or nipa,
While birds chirp merrily.

Above it, blue as heaven,
Towers its guardian hill,
Which, when the rains pour over,
Shows in its breast a rill.

The bending skies above it,
The wild extending plain,
Bring in the wind a whisper
Of grass and of growing grains.

At morn, a lusty crowing,
Or Tiger’s happy bark,
Wakens from joy of slumber,
Dawn swift dispels the dark.

My palace is of nipa,
Its portal of bamboo,
For jewels I have flowers,
Bright sparkling in the dew.

O, home green-roofed in glory,
With vine and scented rose,
Here but to see your mem’ry
I breathe your old repose.

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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