by Luis G. Dato

How man has fallen from his high estate,
From his straight mandates with his sins deviate,
Rejoicing and rebelling from His reign
Emprise of Lucifer, like him, all vain.

In life, what strange bedfellows sin and grace!
The light departs in Satan’s foul embrace,
To everlasting fire in hell below
The hapless, unrepentant souls must go.

But God, His mercy, like His infinite love,
Descends upon him from His realm above,
Beyond the wildest compass of his dreams,
God with His blood man from his sins redeems.

Proud mortal, then fall you mendicant,
For God’s compassion is your supreme want,
The glories of this world, is there more fair
Than His compassion always swift to spare?

Shrive then your souls, your mortal sins confess,
It pleases God His creatures all to bless,
None hurts His more the wicked to condemn,
He would extend the light of grace to them.

So, rich and poor, the learned and profane,
Look in your heart and ask His grace again,
There are no other wages, this I tell,
No guerdons — only Paradise or Hell.

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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