TORN IDOLS

By Luis G. Dato

Mute, unmoved, your silence utters
Flames of prophesy,
Men, they vow, they swear and onward
Deathward, cease to be.

Men, who in a false believing,
Defied your stone.
Men who raised to you contumely,
Those and these have gone.

Faith! what blasphemies lie under,
Doubt, what certainty?
Mute, unmoved your silence utters
Words of prophecy.

Once your towering temples hearkened
Contrite heresies,
Heathens through your altared turrets
Saw of promises.

And your forms to shreds now sundered,
And your shell-torn mould,
Reeking hands of high commanders,
Tore for those of gold.

Infidel, profane, or prophet,
They in you could see,
Time’s eternal faith in doubting,
Doubt in prophecy.

For the spirit of the Deity
Ever roams unknown
And our creeds when death has summoned
Turn, like you, to stone.

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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