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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sun. 11/15/09 08:32:15 AM

Tabb Centenary Year LXI

Five poems by Rev. John B. Tabb.

Fiat Lux

“Give us this day our daily bread,” and light:
   For more to me, O Lord, than food is sight:
      And I at noon have been
In twilight, where my fellow-men were seen
   “As trees” that walked before me. E’en to-day
From time to time there falls upon my way
   A feather of the darkness. But again
It passes; and amid the falling rain
   Of tears, I lift, O Lord, mine eyes to Thee,
                        For, lo! I see!

1910 (p. 257, Himself and Others)


Whate’er my darkness be,
’Tis not, O Lord, of Thee.
The light is Thine alone;
The shadows, all my own.

November 1895 - February 1896 (p. 353, Quatrains: Personal)

Going Blind

Back to the primal gloom
   Where life began,
As to my mother’s womb
   Must I a man
Not to be born again,
   But to remain:
And in the School of Darkness learn
      What mean
“The things unseen.”

August 1908 (p. 257, Himself and Others)

The Smiter

They bound Thine eyes and questioned, “Tell us now
Who smote Thee.” Thou wast silent. When to-day
Mine eyes are holden, and again they say,
“Who smote Thee?” Lord, I tell them it is Thou.

1910 (p. 355, Quatrains: Personal)

In Tenebris

The dawn to ours is dusk to other eyes;
                  And, light away,
Our stars returning to their native skies
                  Forget the day.

If then, some life be brighter for the shade
                  That darkens mine,
To both, O Lord, more manifest be made
                  The light divine.

1910 (p. 259, Himself and Others)

[Father Tabb lost his eyesight completely in late November 1908. “Fiat Lux”: Latin, let there be light, a quotation from the Old Testament story of creation, Genesis 1:3; the first line quotes from the Lord's Prayer, Luke 1:1-4; “As trees” quotes from the New Testament story of the Lord Jesus restoring sight to a blind man, Mark 8:22-26. “Tenebrae”: Latin, darkness. “Going Blind”: the final line refers to 2 Corinthians 4:18. “The Smiter”: the first two lines refer to the taunting received by the blindfolded Lord Jesus in the house of Caiaphas, Luke 22:63-65; holden is archaic for held, here meaning obstructed. “In Tenebris”: Latin, in darkness.]

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. 11/15/09 08:32:15 AM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.


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