by Luis G. Dato

On an uneven keel my ships of song
Have sailed the seas and oceans of our time,
Not always flawless have been all our rhyme,
The masts astern of meter not all strong.
My barks have cruised the perilous main, among
The reefs and shoals by Homer made sublime,
Heard o’er the deep the bells in chasms chime,
For love is dauntless when the heart is young.

Teach to my song the nimbleness of wit,
Such as but you alone the words can tell,
Give to it fancy, every bit of it,
As they knew well in high Parnassus’ dell —
Thus may our hapless love be fully writ,
A dirge when we are gone, a fitting knell.

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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