by Luis G. Dato

Pieta, pieta, and study, action, too,
These triumvirate of virtue true,
They are man’s weapons shielding him from harm,
His main defensive and offensive arm.

Khayyam once said, “When young did I frequent
Doctor and Saint and heard great argument
About it and about, but evermore,
Came out by the same door wherein I went.”

Study and action, but of these the best
Is christian piety when true and blest,
And not utilitarian or designed
Advantage merely for the smart to find.

And not mechanical nor robot-wise,
Not felt deep i the heart but only lies.
Nor superstition either but genuine
That warms the faltering spirit like old wine.

True piety is naught but love of God,
Who breathed immortal life to lifeless sod,
Devotion true, and even consciousness
Thad God is here with our lives to bless.

True piety, it is God’s gospel shown
In godly deeds, by which its worth is known,
No theory it is but endless prayers
Like Tennyson’s, a bard beyond compare.

“Tis courage that would dare confront the world,
Defy its standards brazenly unfurled,
To trap the unwary, courage to believe
Before the unbeliever, live, let live.

And, over all, ’tis gladness pure and sweet,
To find redemption near ‘neath Jesus feet,
Oh joy of life, oh joy of grace in Him,
Then are we mortals not, but seraphim!

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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