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Tabb Centenary Year V

Five poems by Rev. John B. Tabb.

Tributaries

The little streams that onward flow
   To mingle ere they meet the sea,
Know not that heaven hath willed it so
   Till one their waters be.

And, from their fountain heads apart,
   The lives that love hath led to me,
Till heart was wedded unto heart,
   Knew not their destiny.

March 1899 (p. 141, Life and Death: Love)

An Influence

I see thee—heaven’s unclouded face
   A vacancy around thee made,
Its sunshine a subservient grace
   Thy lovelier light to shade.

I feel thee, as the billows feel
   A river freshening the brine;
A life’s libation poured to heal
   The bitterness of mine.

October 1889 (p. 133, Life and Death: Love)

The Ring

Hold the trinket near thine eye,
And it circles earth and sky;
Place it further, and behold!
But a finger’s breadth of gold.

Thus our lives, beloved, lie
Ringed with love’s fair boundary;
Place it further, and its sphere
Measures but a falling tear.

June 1885 (p. 130, Life and Death: Love)

Compensation

How many an acorn falls to die
   For one that makes a tree!
How many a heart must pass me by
   For one that cleaves to me!

How many a suppliant wave of sound
   Must still unheeded roll
For one low utterance that found
   An echo in my soul!

October 1892 (p. 133, Life and Death: Love)

A Sunset Song

Fade not yet, O summer day,
For my love hath answered yea;
Keep us from the coming night,
Lest our blossom suffer blight.

Fear thou not; if love be true,
Closer will it cleave to you.
’Tis the darkened hours that prove
Faith or faithlessness in love.

May 1908 (p. 143, Life and Death: Love)

[In “A Sunset Song”, the first stanza is addressed to the summer day; the second stanza is the summer day’s reply.]


The references (page number and section) are to The Poetry of Father Tabb, ed. Francis A. Litz, Ph.D. (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1928). All of Tabb's poems published here in the Father Tabb Centenary Year were originally published before 1923.

Biblical references link to the New Advent Bible comprising Bishop Challoner's edition of the Douay-Rheims Bible (English) and the Sixto-Clementine edition of the Vulgate (Latin), since they are the versions which Father Tabb would have used as a Catholic.

The year 2009 is the centenary of the death of Rev. John Banister Tabb, November 19, 1909.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 01/25/09 02:18:48 PM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”