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Tabb Centenary Year XIX

Five lyrics by Rev. John B. Tabb.

Precursors

The little birds that hither bring
The earliest messages of spring,
   Seem, fountain-like, to overflow
   With music melted from the snow.

So sweet the tidings that they tell,
The hidden buds begin to swell,
   Till suddenly, with lifted ears,
   The leafy multitude appears.

1902 (p. 42, Nature: Birds)

Racers

The winds from many a cloudy mane
Shake off the sweat of gathering rain
   And whicker with delight;
No slope of pasture-lands they need,
Whereon to rest, or drink, or feed:
Their life the rapture of the speed,
   The frenzy of the flight.

June 1903 (p. 52, Nature: The Wind)

In the Nest

O world beneath the mother’s wing,
   Secure from harm,
The heart so near the sheltered thing
   To keep it warm!

No longer needed now the light
   Of heaven above—
The very darkness breathes a plight
   Of deeper love.

1902 (p. 43, Nature: Birds)

The Breeze

Through thee the ocean knows
The fragrance of the rose;
And inlands, far away,
The blossom of the spray.

Through thee, to every wave
A whisper of the grave;
And to each grave a sigh
Of life that cannot die.

June 1904 (p. 51, Nature: The Wind)

Matins

Still sing the morning stars remote
   With echoes now unheard,
Save in the scintillating note
   Of some dawn-wakened bird

Whose heart, a fountain in the light,
   Prolongs the limpid strain
Till on the borderland of Night,
   The stars begin again.

(p. 47, Nature: Birds)

[“Racers”: to whicker is to whinny or neigh, as horses do. “Matins”: a portion of the Divine Office, the “hour” of Matins was typically celebrated before dawn.]


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. 03/29/09 05:18:59 PM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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