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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sun. 08/09/09 11:23:20 AM

Tabb Centenary Year XLIV

Five lyrics by Rev. John B. Tabb.


   Nay, wake him not!
Unfelt our presence near,
Nor falls a whisper on his dreaming ear:
He sees but sleep’s celestial visions clear,
   All else forgot.

   And who shall say
That, in life’s waking dream,
There be not ever near us those we deem
(As now our faces to the Sleeper seem)
   Far, far away?

July 1881 (p. 164, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Sleep)

The Stroke of the Hour

If I were dead, and yonder chime
Retold the fairy-tale of time,
At distance I perchance might hear,
And half in pity, half in fear,
Perceive the future life to be
But an immortal memory.

1910 (p. 157, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Memory)

The Voyager

Far inland, where the sea,
   Throughout the day,
Lives but in memory—
   From twilight gray
As foamless tides of sleep
   Their heights attain—
Back to the distant deep
   I drift again;

And, as of old, a boy
   Seem I to be,
With Innocence and Joy
   Afloat with me,
Till, all too soon, the star
   Of morn appears,
And on the slumber-bar
   We part in tears.

1910 (p. 167, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Sleep)

From Paradise

All else that in the limit lies
   Of fleeting time I see;
The glance, Beloved, of thine eyes
   Alone is lost to me.

And in the selfsame interval,
   The ever-changing place
Of light’s horizon-line is all
   That meets thy lonely gaze.

Behold the glimmer of a tear,
   The twinkle of a star—
The shadow and the light how near!
   And yet, alas, how far!

May 1896 (p. 185, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Miscellaneous)

The Departed

They cannot wholly pass away,
   How far soe’er above;
Nor we, the lingerers, wholly stay
   Apart from those we love:
For spirits in eternity,
   As shadows in the sun,
Reach backward into Time, as we,
   Like lifted clouds, reach on.

December 1893 (p. 125, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Sleep)

[“The Voyager”: a bar is a ridge of sand or gravel on a shore or streambed, produced by action of wave and wind, and has become symbolic of a line of demarcation; Fr. Tabb’s “slumber-bar” would be the passage made from sleeping to awakening; see also “Crossing the Bar”, a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.]

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. 08/09/09 11:23:20 AM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.


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