NOCTURNE TO ROSARIO (Translated from Mexican poet Manuel Acuña)

by Luis G. Dato

Well, then, I must tell how much I adore you,
And tell that I love you with all my heart,
That much do I suffer, that much I deplore you
And now I can’t bear it, and cry to implore you
In the name of a love that from life will depart.

I’d as lief that you know of the nights I have passed
When ailing and wan, I toss and cannot sleep,
That now all my hopes have died at the last,
And my nights are so dark, so somber, aghast
That I know not what yet the Morrow shall keep.

I know that your kisses mine never shall be,
I know in your eyes myself I’ll see not e’er,
But still I will love you, in vagaries to see,
I bless your disdain, your indifference to me,
And rather than love less I love you the more.
At night on my pillow when in slumber I bend,

And to other worlds my spirit turns to view,
I travel O so much, but at the journey’s end,
The forms of Mother into nothingness blend,
To my soul in its anguish you appear yet anew.

At times I thought to bid you eternal goodbye,
From memory blot you, in Passion’s depths to drown,
But vain it was all, my soul to you sigh,
O life of my life, what to do, I now cry,
With this my poor heart no longer my own?

And now when at last you shall come to your shrine,
And the lamp is lighted, by the altar your veil,
Through the belfry behold the morning sun shine,
The torches to glow and the incense entwine,
Your home’s door loom to view on yon vale

How lovely ‘neath that roof to have lived you beside,
We two just as one, each loving the other,
I forever in love, you fore’er satisfied,
With one selfsame spirit, one heart to abide,
And then ‘twixt us two, like a god –my mother!

God knows so well my one dream was but this,
My obsession, my hope, my joy,-my delight,
God knows O so well in none else lay my bliss
But you to love in that home whose warm kiss
Enraptured when of life I first saw the light.

This was my dream and now that its gleam
Illumes the abyss that gapes ‘twixt us two,
Farewell for the last, love of my loves supreme,
The light of my gloom, the essence of my dream,
My lyre and my youth, I now bid you adieu!

Rizal, in writing the “Ultimo Adios” has used the same rime scheme (abaab) and the same meter (alejandrino, fourteen syllables). In this “Nocturne to Rosario” of Manuel Acuña, Mexico’s romantic lyric poet, who committed suicide shortly after writing the poem. — Luis G. Dato

Manuel Acuña
Manuel Acuña
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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