PSYCHE (Translated from Ruben Dario)

by Luis G. Dato

O Psyche immortal, fluttering unseen,
Who hither from the dim abysses came
To dower on my being what has been
Of its statuary of flesh, the flame.

I see you rise aglow with morning fire,
And yet you are a stranger slave confined,
For minioned by my manifold desire,
You scarce can roam the gardens of the mind.

0 soul of Passion steeped in ancient lore,
The murky, mossy walls you often scale,
Beyond the eye of mortal you explore,
The sunless peril of the untrod vales.

You find both shade and sorrow, grief and gloom,
Beneath the vine fruit juiced for Satan’s bowl,
You plumb the fragrance secret of the womb
Which crazed the Baptist and illumined Paul.

Chaste John and Paul, militant and bold,
The John who knew not the incarnadined
Caress of flesh, whose innocence appalled,
And Paul who found his Jesus with the wind.

By spire and pagan ruin you arise,
Eternal Psyche, spirit strangely mine,
And to the swing of bells reach Paradise,
Bells, and the scent of perfumes strong as wine.

By shrine and pagan column, your white wings,
Flying invisible o’er the earth arose;
From flowers for whom some Philomela sings,
You fly to poise upon the holy cross.

Ruben Dario
Ruben Dario
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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