Tabb’s Poetry XXI


The cock crows; & behold the hidden Day—
   The thrice-denied—appears,
And Darkness, conscience-stricken, steals away,
   His face bedewed with tears. 


A bow across the sky,
   Another in the river,
Whence swallows upward fly,
   Like arrows from a quiver. 

The Lark

He rose, and singing passed from sight:
   A shadow kindling with the sun,
His joy ecstatic flamed, till light
   And heavenly song were one. 

The Sunbeam

A ladder from the Land of Light,
   I rest upon the sod,
Whence dewy angels of the Night
   Climb back again to God. 


The prophet Star, the Maiden Dawn, the Sun—
   So light begins his reign;
Then Sunset, widowed Twilight, and anon
   The prophet Star again.

John B. Tabb

For a recitation, click the play button:

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/95459835″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

“Abashed”: Later Poems, p. 18; Poetry, p. 335. 1910. The poem alludes to the narrative in Matthew 26:69-75.

“Archery”: Child Verse, p. 26; Poetry, p. 330. 1899.

“The Lark”: Poems, p. 60; Poetry, p. 329. August 1892. A lark is any of a number of songbirds (family Alaudidae); only one, the Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris), lives in North America.

“The Sunbeam”: Poems, p. 145; Poetry, p. 331. December 1892. The poem alludes to the Old Testament story of Jacob’s Ladder, Genesis 28:10-22; see also John 1:51.

“Signals”: Father Tabb, p. 188; Poetry, p. 336. July 1904. Anon means soon.

A convert to the Catholic faith, Rev. John Banister Tabb (1845-1909) was a priest of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, and Professor of English at St. Charles’ College, Ellicott City, Maryland. Poems selected, arranged, and annotated by E.L. Core.
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