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Tabb Centenary Year LI

Five poems by Rev. John B. Tabb.

The Voyagers

The spring in festival array,
From death to life, from night to day,
   Came floating o’er the main;
And now with banners brave and bright,
From life to death, from day to night,
   The autumn drifts again.

September 1892 (p. 86, Nature: The Seasons)

Mater Dolorosa

Again maternal Autumn grieves,
As blood-like drip the maple leaves
   On Nature’s Calvary,
And every sap-forsaken limb
Renews the mystery of Him
   Who died upon a Tree.

April 1896 (p. 91, Nature: The Seasons)

Life’s Repetend

Do ye forget the blossom-time?
Or tint for tint, as rhyme for rhyme,
   Would ye, O leaves, supply;
To prove, as echo to the ear,
That Near is Far and Far is Near
   In circling home to die?

April 1899 (p. 116, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Life)

A Rubric

The aster puts its purple on
   When flowers begin to fall
To suit the solemn antiphon
   Of Autumn’s ritual;

And deigns, unwearied, to stand
   In robes pontifical
Till Indian Summer leaves the land,
   And Winter spreads the pall.

October 1895 (p. 13, Nature: Flowers)

Autumn-Glow

If this the preface be of death
   In crimson, green, and gold,
What wondrous art illumineth
   The story still untold?

April 1899 (p. 368, Quatrains: Miscellaneous)

[Today is the first day of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere this year. “The Voyagers”: the main is the sea. “Mater Dolorosa”: Latin, sorrowful mother. “Life’s Repetend”: a repetend is a refrain or repetition. “A Rubric”: this poem, part and parcel, is an extended metaphor on the Church’s liturgy; rubrics are instructions and directions for celebrating the liturgy; purple is the liturgical color of affliction and melancholy; an antiphon is a short refrain; pontifical robes are vestments worn by bishops and other prelates; Indian Summer is a warm spell when the leaves are in color; the pall is draped over a coffin, to which the fall of snow corresponds.]


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 — Tue. 09/22/09 08:42:26 AM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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