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Tabb Centenary Year IX

Five lyrics by Rev. John B. Tabb.

Onset

Lo, where the routed shadows pass,
Upon each lifted blade of grass
   The tokens of a fray—
Pale life-drops from the heart of night,
Mute witnesses of sudden flight
   Before the host of day.

October 1892 (p. 83, Nature: Day and Night)

Brink-Song

A note so near the dawn
   Too timid was to stay
Till shadows all were gone,
   But, dreamlike, sped away
While paled the hesitating sky
   For Day to bloom or Night to die.

1902 (p. 76, Nature: Day and Night)

Daybreak

Thou hast not looked on Yesterday,
   Nor shalt Tomorrow see;
Upon thy solitary way
   Is none to pilot thee:—
Thou comest to thine own
A stranger and alone.

And yet, alas, thy countenance
   To us familiar seems;
The wonder of thy wakening glance,
   The vanishing of dreams,
Is like an old refrain
From silence come again.

1902 (p. 72, Nature: Day and Night)

Dawn

Behold, as from a silver horn,
   The sacerdotal night
Outpours upon his latest-born
   The chrism of the light;
And bids him to the altar come,
   Whereon for sacrifice,
(A lamb before his shearers, dumb,)
   A victim shadow lies.

October 1895 (p. 71, Nature: Day and Night)

The Dayspring

What hand with spear of light
Hath cleft the side of Night,
And from the red wound wide
Fashioned the Dawn, his bride?

Was it the deed of Death?
Nay; but of Love, that saith,
“Henceforth be Shade and Sun,
In bonds of Beauty, one.”

1894 (p. 71, Nature: Day and Night)

[“Dawn”: sacerdotal means priestly; chrism is the oil used during sacramental rites such as Confirmation and Ordination; the penultimate line alludes to Isaiah 53:7 and Acts 8:32.]


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. 02/08/09 02:49:46 PM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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