TO THE VIRGIN OF PEÑAFRANCIA

by Luis G. Dato

I

Dear Mary, Mother of Christ, whom all these years
The faithful have, next but to God, believed,
God’s virgin Mother, without sin conceived,
Our Queen in heaven who our pleas all hears,
Past two millenia in this vale of tears,
Where we as mortals pray to the ills have lived
As we be heir to, and have joyed and grieved,
Your intercessions shall allay our fears.

Sweet Mary, as in ages past, keep pure
Your loving children both in heart and mind,
Stout though our spirit, yet in the flesh is weak —
Away from you where may we virtue find,
Where else but yours to see the way we seek?
Be, Virgin Mother, our salvation sure.

II

On evil times we’ve fallen, godless days,
The mysteries of Mary they would cast
Aside, doubts breach and batter down in the past.
And, sinful, grope their separate, confused ways,
But pure, serene, the Virgin sheds her rays,
Her pinicus flying high above the mast,
Storms to withstand, victorious to the last,
Compassionate, forgiving, full of Grace.

Be that as it may be, a beacon bright
And virtues mirror, pure, immaculate
For Bikol maids for all time she shall shine,
To turn them pure her grace to emulate,
And, kneeling there contrite before her shrine,
Reach in their pilgrimage her gracious light.

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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