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Tabb Centenary Year LV

Five lyrics by Rev. John B. Tabb.

Mountain-Born

How hast thou, little spring,
The heart to sing,
   Leaving thy lofty home
For yonder plain,
Whence ne’er again
   Returning canst thou come?

“Nay not as now I go;
But mute as snow,”
   The laughing wave replies;
“To crown the height,
In vapors white
   Again I nightly rise.”

June 1907 (p. 69, Nature: The Sea)

Vox Clamantis

O sea, forever calling to the shore
   With menace or caress—
A voice like his unheeded that of yore
   Cried in the wilderness;
A deep forever yearning unto deep,
   For silence out of sound—
Thy restlessness the cradle of a sleep
   That thou hast never found.

March 1892 (p. 63, Nature: The Sea)

Breakers

’Tis well the dimples sweet
   To kiss away—
The marks of little feet
   That love the spray;

For, once the children gone,
   ’Twere mockery
The vestiges upon
   The sand to see.

1910 (p. 177, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Childhood)

Waiting

I bide mine hour, when thou,
   Beloved, far away,
As unto sleep shalt bow
   Submissive to my sway.

The clouds that, floating, seem
   Unpiloted and free,
Obedient to the stream,
   Move onward to the sea;

And under love’s control,
   Despite the opposing tide,
The current of thy soul
   Is setting to my side.

1902 (p. 141, Life, Death and Similar Themes: Love)

Winter Rain

Rain on the roof and rain
On the burial-place of grain;
To one a voice in vain;
To one, o’er hill and plain
The pledge of life again.

Rain on the sterile sea,
That hath no need of thee,
Nor keeps thy memory—
’Tis thou that teachest me
The range of charity.

June 1905 (p. 61, Nature: Clouds and Sky)

[“Vox Clamantis”: Latin, a voice crying out; this poem alludes to the New Testament story of St. John the Baptist; see Matthew 3; the fifth line echoes Psalm 41:8 (enumerated Psalm 42:7 in most Bibles).]


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. 10/11/09 09:58:08 AM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”