THE ALBATROSS (Translated from Charles Baudelaire)

by Luis G. Dato

Quite often sailors shoot the albatross,
And bring them down with infidel delight,
Huge birds that trail the ships the sea across,
With cloud-like pinions quivering in flight,
Fallen on deck, and barely left alone,

They lie that once soared with triumphant wing,
The pinions drag like some so futile bone,
Or some torn oar, each one a useless thing.
The winged wanderer of grace has none,

Once lovely, now it lies supine and dull,
The beak with flaming brands is scorched by one,
Another, limping, apes the limping gull.
The bard recalls this monarch of the wind,
That scorning arrows spanned the bounding main,
It lies on deck with blood and burning blind,
The giant pinions powerless with pain.

Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
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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