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Tabb Centenary Year XLVIII

Five lyrics by Rev. John B. Tabb.

Transfigured

Throughout the livelong summer day
The leaf and twinborn shadow play
   Till leaf to shadow fade;
Then, hidden for a season brief,
They dream, till shadow turn to leaf
   As leaf was turned to shade.

November 1893 (p. 113, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Life)

Love Immortal

The soul that sees no hell below,
   No heaven above,
All other mysteries may know,
   But never love.

If from the prison-walls of time
   No life may fly,
Then love and innocence and crime
   Alike must die.

1910 (p. 137, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Love)

Survival

The tempest past—
A home in ruin laid;
But lo! where last
The little children played
At hide-and-seek,
A footprint small
Pleads silently,
As if afraid to speak.
“Behold in me
A memory,
The least and last of all!”

November 1909 (p. 156,Life, Death and Similar Themes: Memory)

Limitation

Breathe above me or below;
Never canst thou farther go
Than the spirit’s octave-span,
Harmonizing God and Man.

Thus within the iris-bound,
Light a prisoner is found;
Thus within my soul I see
Life in time’s captivity.

November 1893 (p. 109, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Life)

An Interpreter

What, O Eternity,
   Is time to thee?—
What to the boundless All
   My portion small?

Lift up thine eyes, my soul!
Against the tidal roll
   Stands many a stone,
   Whereon the breakers thrown
Are dashed to spray;
   Else were the ocean dumb.

So, in the way
   Of tides eternal, thou
   Abidest now;
And God himself doth come
   A suppliant to thee,
   Love’s prisoned thought to free.

1902 (p. 142, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Love)

[“Survival”: this poem was the last of Father Tabb's poetry published during his lifetime. “Limitation”: Father Tabb’s niece, Jennie Masters Tabb, quotes (p. 81) her uncle as having said of this poem, “The best of my work, according to my judgment”; she gives no indication, however, of when he made that pronouncement.]


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. 09/06/09 08:38:57 PM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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