By Luis G. Dato
When I wander the streets of Manila, it seems
Intramuros awakens my mem’ry again;
When at twilight the sun leaves me lone with my dreams
Of the heroes of old and the power of Spain.
I see lances and pikes, yellow banners wind-flaunted,
Hear the rabble and rumble of men marching on,
File by file watch the arrogant legion undaunted
Of Legaspi, Salcedo, of Guido, Chacon.
And three centuries spread a dream to my eyes,
From the city in tumult I am lone with my mood
Again I remember the night of surprise,
When Alonzo’s fair spouse rued her sin with her blood.
Down the pavement returned from the night of the never
Tread again men who trod them in unrecalled years,
And they come, man and woman, and go by forever
With their surfeits and sorrows, their laughter and tears.
Set against the high heavens a tiara of spires,
And over each spire is a crucifix bright,
Through the flight of the years ’tis the cross that inspires,
And rekindles men’s conscience with skies of light.
Above, up the old convent, a wonder beseeming,
We might fancy Clarita arise from the dead,
A voice in the tempest, eternally dreaming
Of the railing where love tinged her pale face to red.
And near, Fort Santiago still faces the bay,
The dungeon where history lurks in each hall,
Which, with funeral colors, was draped on the day
That saw burn in its night the lamp of Rizal.
Ah, may discord be over, the torch of the strife,
The blazes unholy of unblessed fratricide,
And may death sever not who were brethren in life,
Nor what God has united men ever divide.