REPLY TO ROSSETTI

By Luis G. Dato

When you are dead, my dearest,
Would you know the songs we sing,
What cypress-tree above your head,
What roses for you bring?
For though green grass enshroud you
With showers and dew drops wet,
Always we shall remember
Never shall we forget.

You will not see the shadows,
You will not feel the rain
But we like the sad nightingale,
Shall lull our pain in vain,
Since we know that the twilight
For you rise not nor set,
And haply may remember,
And haply may forget.

When you are dead, my darling,
This be my plaint to rue,
God you had meant for kisses sweet,
Now earth instead has you,
If you had loved more deeply,
Life lived has less regret,
Though haply you remember,
Or haply may forget.

If I am dead, my darling,
Come not beside my bier,
With tears and sighs complaining
That you, too, held me dear;
Time was when earth was heaven,
The air, the friends we met,
Now I shall not remember,
And dead I shall forget.

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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