by Luis G. Dato

O chosen Helmsman of our Ship of State,
With powerful hands and soul filled with light,
Te steer the Nation to a happier fate,
Toward the Victory long-deferred of Right –
Today we cheer to see the overthrow
Of evil power which long had worked our woe.

O Moses you unto a weary band,
Despairing in the darkness of the strife,
To lead them on into the Premised Land,
Into the Morrow of a cleaner life,
Theirs is the glory of a dream fulfilled,
Yours from the rubble a nation to rebuild.

Long had the nation lived an abject prey
To rank abuses and corruption foul,
Long we despaired and groaned beneath the sway
That shamed our spirit and enslaved the soul –
Today the night is past, with eager eyes
We see your sun surge toward clearer skies.

Faith all but dies – Democracy for long
In this our Nation was an empty name,
A travesty, a synonym for Wrong,
And to the nations ugly was our fame.
All this, we trust, has now been put to an end,
Democracy sat right to foe and friend.

The honor of a nation cannot die,
Dark though the night, it is not quite put out,
For God still reigns, and never brooding nigh
The spirit of our heroes, last redoubt
Of triumph to the last posterity,
To rescue from defeat our Liberty.

Vain blasphemy it were to say indeed
That in your hands we place our Destiny,
Which is of God, and more than is their meed
The people ask. Enough to us it be
That Evil henceforth shall not stalk this land,
And justice to the masses lies at hand.

Lead them the people on. O helmsman bold
Your hand all stronger when the heart is pure,
Their welfare, not the lust for power or gold,
The star to guide them to their haven sure.
Bury the past, they seek a nobler fate,
To peace and honor steer the Ship of State.

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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