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Tabb Centenary Year L

Five lyrics by Rev. John B. Tabb.

Sicut in Principio

A pentecostal breath—
The wind that baffles death—
Moves; and from sterile sand
The sea brings forth the land,
Out of whose wounded side
All life is satisfied.

1910 (p. 115, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Life)

To the Wheatfield

Give us this day our daily bread.
“Oh wheat,” the wind, in passing, said,
“’Tis you that answer everywhere
This call of life’s incessant prayer;
Bow, then, in reverence your head,
For ’tis the Master’s gift you bear.”

March 1906 (p. 103, Nature: Miscellaneous)

Christ and the Winds

From Bethlehem to Calvary,
By night and day, by land and sea,
His closest followers were we.

We soothed Him on His mother’s breast;
We shared with John the place of rest;
With Magdalen His feet we pressed.

We saw His twilight agony;
To us He breathed His latest sigh;
With us He sought again the sky.

And now of all to whom His tone,
His face and gesture once were known,
We, wanderers, remain alone.

1910 (p. 194, Religion: Christ)

Waves

We sighed of old till underneath His feet
         Our pulses beat,
Again to sigh in restlessness until
         He saith, “Be still.”

And with us is the ever-moving wind,
         And all mankind—
A triple chorus—each upheaving breast,
         A sigh for rest.

March 1909 (p. 117, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Life)

A Wind-Call

Dust thou art, and unto dust,
Playfellow, return thou must;
Lingering death it is to stay
In the prison-house of clay—
Bricks of Egypt, year by year,
Walling up a sepulchre.

Better far the soul to free
From its cold captivity,
And with us, thy comrades, go
Wheresoe’er we list to blow.
Come, for soon again to dust
Playfellow, return thou must.

March 1904 (p. 52, Nature: The Wind)

[“Sicut in Principio”: Latin, as in the beginning; Pentecost is the day on which Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first disciples, Acts 2: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming: and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.” “To the Wheatfield”: the first line is from the Lord's Prayer, Luke 11:3. “Waves”: the first quatrain quotes from the Gospel story of the Lord Jesus calming the storm at sea, Mark 4:35-40. “A Wind-Call”: the Israelites were oppressed in Egypt, forced to construct buildings, including making the bricks; see the first five chapters of Exodus.]


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. 09/20/09 02:35:12 PM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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