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Tabb Centenary Year LXIV

Five poems by Rev. John B. Tabb.

The Foundling

What time the wandering mother night
   Made ready to depart,
A new-born, trembling dream of light
   She laid upon my heart.
“Keep it,” she sighed, and bending low
   Wept o’er it where it lay;
Then, suddenly as April snow,
   Went vanishing away.

1897 (p. 72, Nature: Day and Night)

The Expected of Nations

While shepherd stars their nightly vigils keep
   Above the clouds of sleep,
Long prophesied, behold the manchild, morn,
   Again is born.

1902 (p. 335, Quatrains: Day and Night)

The Dial

A dreamer in the dark, I grow
Prophetic in the morning glow;
Thereon a slender shade I throw—
A sign in Babylon to say
“Thou’rt in the balance weighed, O Day,
Found wanting, and shalt waste away.”
And now in Night’s pavilion, all
The stars are writing on the wall,
“Behold, thy kingdom too must fall.”

1910 (p. 77, Nature: Day and Night)

At Cock-Crow

Crow! For the night has thrice denied
   The glory of the sun,
And now, repentant, turns aside
   To weep what he has done.

1899 (p. 336, Quatrains: Day and Night)

Light in Darkness

The day—of sorrow pitiless—
   Proclaims “He is not here”;
But never hath the tenderness
   Of night denied thee near.

Nay, with the twilight sympathy
   Returning from afar,
She wakes again for memory
   The dawn-extinguished star.

1907 (p. 85, Nature: Day and Night)

[“The Foundling”: “what time” means when. “The Expected of Nations”: one of the titles (Latin, exspectatio gentium) of the Lord Jesus in the seventh of the “O” Antiphons, used in the Catholic liturgy during Advent. “The Dial”: a sundial; the poem alludes to an Old Testament story about the prophet Daniel, recounted in Daniel 5. “At Cock-Crow”: the poem alludes to the Gospel story of St. Peter’s triple denial of the Lord Jesus, as in Mark 14:66-72. “Light in Darkness”: the second line quotes the angel at the Lord’s tomb, as in Matthew 28:6.]


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. 11/29/09 10:13:58 AM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.

   
         
         

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