by Luis G. Dato

Of old, man had the innate power of grace,
Which Adam lost, the father of our race,
But from which fall he still himself can lift,
Through baptism and penance, Jesus’ gift.

And what is grace? it is to live the life
Not of a mere man, enmeshed in dress and strife,
The sanctifying light, the living water
That makes God’s heirs of every son and daughter.

Sic transit gloria mundi. But, apart,
Man lords creation when God took to heart,
Despite transgressions mortal, evil ways,
That grace restored, he praise Him all his days.

And what Christianity? Cathedrals grand?
Or rituals, vestments that impress the land?
O no! it is the holy heritage
Of grace immortal through each passing age.

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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