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Tabb Centenary Year LXIX

Five poems by Rev. John B. Tabb.

Speculum Amoris

My God the Baby is
   That rests upon my knee.
Into those eyes of His
   I gaze mine own to see.
And He looks up to meet in mine
Reflected all the love Divine.

A Maid my mother is,
   And I a sireless Son.
No other deed like this
   Has Love eternal done—
To make her motherhood for Me
The mirror of Divinity.

1910 (p. 191, Religion: Christ)

The Incarnation

Save through the flesh Thou wouldst not come to me—
The flesh, wherein Thy strength my weakness found
A weight to bow Thy Godhead to the ground,
And lift to heaven a lost humanity.

1894 (p. 339, Quatrains: Religion)

The Breeze at Bethlehem

   I that have lashed the sea
And from the forest torn the rooted tree,
   Come now, my passion spent,
   A lowly penitent,
      Sweet Child, to Thee.

   Alike Thy sovereign will
The strong and weak, O slumbering Babe, fulfil.
   As I before Thee now
   Shall waves submissive bow,
      And storms be still.

1910 (p. 199, Religion: Christmas)

The Christmas Babe

So small that lesser lowliness
Must bow to worship or caress;
So great that heaven itself to know
Love’s majesty must look below.

January 1894 (p. 343, Quatrains: Religion)

At the Manger

When first her Christmas watch to keep
Came down the silent angel, Sleep,
   With snowy sandals shod,
Beholding what His mother’s hands
Had wrought, with softer swaddling-bands
   She swathed the Son of God.

Then skilled in mysteries of night,
With tender visions of delight
   She wreathed His resting place,
Till wakened by a warmer glow
Than heaven itself had yet to show,
   He saw His mother’s face.

December 1907 (p. 196, Religion: Christmas)

[Today is Christmas, on which day Christians celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Speculum Amoris”: Latin, mirror of love; the first stanza is spoken by the Blessed Virgin Mary, the second by her Divine Son. “The Incarnation”: see Catholic Encyclopedia. “The Breeze at Bethlehem”: the second stanza alludes to Mark 4:35-41.]


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 — Fri. 12/25/09 07:12:23 AM
Categorized as Father Tabb Centenary Year & Literary.


   

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