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Tabb Centenary Year XLIX

Five lyrics by Rev. John B. Tabb.

The Grave-Digger

Here underneath the sod,
   Where night till now hath been,
With every lifted clod
   I let the sunshine in.

How dark soe’er the gloom
   Of Death’s approaching shade,
The first within the tomb
   Is light, that cannot fade.

And from the deepest grave
   I banish it in vain;
For, like a tidal wave,
   Anon ’twill come again.

March 1907 (p. 186, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Miscellaneous)

Intimations

I knew the flowers had dreamed of you,
   And hailed the morning with regret;
For all their faces with the dew
   Of vanished joy were wet.

I knew the winds had passed your way,
   Though not a sound the truth betrayed;
About their pinions all the day
   A summer fragrance stayed.

And so, awaking or asleep,
   A memory of lost delight
By day the sightless breezes keep,
   And silent flowers by night.

May 1891 (p. 153, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Memory)

Aspiration

I envy not the sun
   His lavish light;
But O to be the one
   Pale orb of night,
In silence and alone
Communing with mine own!

I envy not the rain
   That freshens all
The parching hill and plain;
   But O the small
Night-dewdrop now to be,
My noonday flower, for thee!

September 1900 (p. 250, Himself and Others)

Consummation

The interval
We both recall,
To each was all.

A moment’s space
That time nor place
Can e’er efface.

’Tis all our own,
A secret known
To us alone:

My life to thee,
As thine to me,
Eternity.

1902 (p. 252, Himself and Others)

Finis

O to be with thee sinking to thy rest,
                     Thy journey done;
The world thou leavest blessing thee and blest,
                     O setting sun;
The clouds, that ne’er the morning joys forget,
                     Again aglow,
And leaf and flower with tears of twilight wet
                     To see thee go.

1910 (p. 249, Himself and Others)

[“Finis”: Latin, the end.]


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. 09/13/09 07:25:55 PM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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