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Tabb Centenary Year LVII

Five poems by Rev. John B. Tabb.

The Lost Anchor

Ah, sweet it was to feel the strain,
   What time, unseen, the ship above
   Stood steadfast to the storm that strove
To rend our kindred cords atwain!

To feel, as feel the roots that grow
   In darkness, when the stately tree
   Resists the tempests, that in me
High hope was planted far below!

But now, as when a mother’s breast
   Misses the babe, my prisoned power
   Deep-yearning, heart-like, hour by hour,
Unquiet aches in cankering rest.

1897 (p. 247, Himself and Others)

O’erspent

My soul is as a fainting noonday star,
   And thou, the absent night;
Haste, that thy healing shadow from afar
   May touch me into light.

1894 (p. 352, Quatrains: Personal)

Cloistered

Within the compass of mine eyes
Behold, a lordly city lies—
   A world to me unknown,
Save that along its crowded ways
Moves one whose heart in other days
   Was mated to mine own.

I ask no more; enough for me
One heaven above us both to see,
   One calm horizon-line
Around us, like a mystic ring
That Love has set, encompassing
   That kindred life and mine.

September 1893 (p. 260, Himself and Others)

The Captives

Apart forever dwelt the twain,
Save for one oft-repeated strain
Wherein what love alone could say
They learned and lavished day by day.

Strangers in all but misery
And music’s hope-sustaining tie,
They lived and loved and died apart,
But soul to soul and heart to heart.

April 1893 (p. 261, Himself and Others)

Consolation

Henceforth alone to bear
The cross thou canst not share
   Is sweet to me;
For ’twas the heavier part
That lay upon thy heart
   Which now is free.

1910 (p. 249, Himself and Others)

[“The Lost Anchor”: Francis Litz relates in his biography of Father Tabb, p. 16, that an experience during the poet’s days as a blockade runner, on the ship Robert E. Lee leaving Charleston, suggested this poem to him in later years; “what time”: when.]


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. 10/25/09 09:39:25 AM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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