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Tabb Centenary Year XXXII

Five lyrics by Rev. John B. Tabb.

The Pine-Tree

With whispers of futurity
   And echoes of the past,
Twin birds a shelter find in thee
   Against the wintry blast—

The fledgling Hope, that preens her wing,
   Too timorous to fly,
And Memory, that comes to sing
   Her coronach and die.

November 1892 (p. 27, Nature: Trees)

Choristers

O wind and waters, ye alone
Have chanted the primeval tone
   Since Nature first began.
All other voices change, but ye
Abide, the soul of harmony
   Interpreting the man.

He listens, and his heart is fain
To fashion an immortal strain;
   Yet his sublimest lay
Is but the music of a tongue
Attuned to silence, and among
   The echoes dies away.

September 1903 (p. 53, Nature: The Wind)

Fern-Song

Dance to the beat of the rain, little Fern,
   And spread out your palms again,
   And say, “Though the sun
   Hath my vesture spun,
He had laboured, alas, in vain,
   But for the shade
   That the Cloud hath made,
And the gift of the Dew and the Rain.”
   Then laugh and upturn
   All your fronds, little Fern,
And rejoice in the beat of the rain!

1894 (p. 11, Nature: Flowers)

The Tree

Planted by the Master’s hand
Steadfast in thy place to stand,
While the ever-changing year
Clothes or strips thy branches bare;
Lending not a leaf to hold
Warmth against the winter’s cold;
Lightening not a limb the less
For the summer’s sultriness;
Nay, thy burden heavier made,
That within thy bending shade
Thankless multitudes, oppressed,
There may lay them down and rest.
Soul, upon thy Calvary
Wait; the Christ will come to thee.

September 1895 (p. 26, Nature: Trees)

The Rain and the Dew

“Thou hast fallen,” said the dewdrop
   To a sister drop of rain,
“But wilt thou, wedded with the dust,
   In banishment remain?”

“Nay, dewdrop, but anon with thee—
   The lowlier born than I—
Uplifted shall I seek again
   My native home, the sky.”

February 1892 (p. 58, Nature: Clouds and Sky)

[“The Pine-Tree”: a coronach is a lament. “Choristers”: a lay is a song. “The Rain and the Dew”: anon means soon.]


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. 05/17/09 12:12:20 PM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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