Monday, August 11, 2008

INTRAMUROS

INTRAMUROS




Out where the wild vines spread

Upon the winding walls,

I hear old madrigals

And music from the dead.


There the grasses hang

Their canopy of leaves,

Which oft at dawn receives

Matins the mayas sang.


Where peace holds sways

On mounted mossy squares,

Where panting thoroughfares

Are heard, but far away.


There will I sit and sing,

Far from the tramp pf feet

Upon the crowded street

And dream of crown and king.


Old walls now mouldering

In quiet, silent ease,

They knew not then of peace.

When glory was their king.


They tell of a long-lost reign

And love-forsaken beauty!

Of sentinels on duty

With musket and with wine!


Of war and wrathful fight,

Of mob and surging crowd,

Protesting clear and loud

Against the law of might.


Of pirate Limahongs,

Who raided towns and coasts,

While vengeful hordes and hosts

Were shouting war-time songs.


Of sailors bold and brave,

Of buccaneer Can Noort,

Morga, who sailed from port

The Spanish flag to save.


And of the years before,

When king was Soliman,

Whose rajah blood outran

To free his native shore.

Here once they held parade

Of saints and flaming torches,

Where now are crumbled churches

And convents all decayed!


Ah, walls that totter must,

Walls of pride and of power,

Living their day and hour,

Only to go to dust.


Walls, olden, ancient walls,

How many memories

And dismal harmonies

To mind your presence calls!

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