By Luis G. Dato

The rose is a morning beauty,
Which dawn gives us to kiss,
Its perfume and its petals
Are what earth knows of bliss.

Yet, underneath such glory,
Is e’er the hiding thorn,
Soon joy is turned to sorrow,
And we but love to mourn.

So woman is the waking
Of a midsummer morn,
An amphora of passion,
We meet to charm our way.

Yet pleasure is a stranger,
In this, our vale of pain,
Youth, and his gay deceiver,
Meet once, but ne’er again;

Yet lingers from the distance,
A sweet far-off refrain,
As of melodious echoes,
Borne from a night of rain:

Or, as the rose that withers,
Yet sheds its perfume still,
Or days that have departed
But the fond memory fill;

Or some fair face forgotten,
That haunts our dreaming still,
Or pet that flown an evening,
Lights o’er our window-sill;

Or sun that at the twilight,
Bids farewell o’er the main,
And by and by the morrow
Returns to earth again;

Or fleecy cloud and starlight,
That grace our loving eyes,
Look on us unbeholden,
And from the past arise.

So, when O love, has faded,
Your glorious summer-time,
My heart shall keep your image,
Enshrined in golden rhyme.

Therein shall be recorded,
Your kiss, your merest glance,
And song that in the springtime,
Wrought the young earth’s romance.

As well the tears, the sorrows,
Each woe and every smile,
Against swift Time’s oblivion,
Keep for a little while.

O Love that can from shadow
So much of heaven constrain,
Psyche! my soul, remember,
Though memory give pain!

And come that will of sadness,
Or come that will of woe,
Death, seek above your heaven,
Life, find your bliss below!

Warm April’s l eaves and flowers,
The rills, the summer sea,
Know they regret or murmur,
Or feel eternity?

‘Tis we alone whose reason
Glosses the scene we see,
And what we have we love not,
And dream what cannot be.

Our passions are our wreckers,
Our minds work our own pain,
Wake, O my soul, to freedom,
Break, spirit, your own chain.

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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