John Bannister Tabb

John Bannister Tabb Poems

What fruit of all thy blossom shed
Remaineth unto me?
'A dream, whereon thy Fancy fed,
Shall spin anon her golden thread,

I came, O DEATH, to conquer thee,
And overcome the Grave;
But thou wast tenderer to me
Than those I sought to save.

Says the Shadow to the Sun,
'When the victory is done
All the world that thou hast won
Will be mine!'

Contrasts are striking, Teddy knows;
And so, for a variety,
The Black man to the White House goes,
Rough-riding o'er society.

The Star that watched you in your sleep
Has just put out his light.
'Good-day, to you on earth,' he said,
'Is here in heaven Good-night.

'Tis Nothingness that sunders me,
O God, from thine Eternity,
Wherein, a being yet to be,
I dwelt forever one with Thee,

Butterfly, Butterfly, sipping the sand,
Have you forgotten the flowers of the land?
Or are you so sated with honey and dew

Ours is the echoed cry
Of helpless Innocents about to die.
Remembering them
In Ramah, for the Lamb of Bethlehem

It was a very little Boy
That on the river side
Stood calling, 'Ferryman, ahoy!
Come, take me o'er the tide!'

A whole-tail dog, and a half-tail dog,
And a dog without a tail,
Went all three out on an autumn day
To follow a red-fox trail.

Of forthcoming weather no prophet have they,
For the ground hog is there to be seen every day.

Listen! 'tis the Rain
Coming home again;
Not as when he went away,
Silent, but in tears to say

Dance to the beat of the rain, little Fern,
And spread out your palms again,
And say, 'Tho' the sun
Hath my vesture spun,

Who first beneath the mistletoe
On Christmas night is found,
Must pay a forfeiture, we know,
To them that stand around.

To strip you of your foliage
My spirit sorely grieves;
Nor will I in the work engage
Unless you grant your leaves.


Strong as the sea, and silent as the grave,
It ebbs and flows unseen;
Flooding the earth-a fragrant tidal wave-
With mist of deepening green.


Sighed the languid Moon to the Morning Star:
'O little maid, how late you are!'
'I couldn't rise from my couch,' quoth she
'While the Man-in-the-M ...

In vain to seal the sepulchre
The Pilate Death commands;
For, lo, again his prisoner
Within the garden stands.

Bishop Potter, finding hotter
Passions than there used to be,
To the Gospel bids defiance,
And appeals to modern science

Amid the desert of a mystic land,
Like Sibyls waiting for a doom far-seen,
Apart in awful solitude they stand,

John Bannister Tabb Biography

Father John Banister Tabb (March 22, 1845 - November 19, 1909) was an American poet, Roman Catholic priest, and professor of English. (Although often misspelled as Bannister, the poet's middle name is actually spelled with only one "n", Banister.) Born into one of Virginia's oldest and wealthiest families, he became a blockade runner for the Confederacy during the Civil War, and spent eight months in a Union prison camp (where he formed a life-long friendship with poet Sidney Lanier); he converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 1872, and began to teach Greek and English at Saint Charles College (Ellicott City, Maryland) in 1878. He was ordained as a priest in 1884, after which he retained his academic position. Plagued by eye problems his whole life, he lost his sight completely about a year before he died in the college rooms that he had continued to occupy after his retirement.[citation needed] Father Tabb (as he was commonly known) was widely published in popular and prestigious magazines of the day, including Harper's Monthly, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Cosmopolitan. His books of poetry include Poems (1894), Lyrics (1897), Later Lyrics (1902), and, posthumously, Later Poems (1910). He also wrote one prose work, Bone Rules (1897), an English grammar; only one of his sermons has survived, a sermon on the Assumption (August 15, 1894). English poet Alice Meynell made A Selection from the Verses of John B. Tabb (1906). His biographer, Francis A. Litz, a former student of Tabb's, published previously uncollected poems and previously unpublished poems in Father Tabb: A Study of His Life and Works (1923); Litz also edited a collected edition, The Poetry of Father Tabb (1928). The Tabb Monument in Amelia County, Virginia is dedicated to his memory.)

The Best Poem Of John Bannister Tabb

The Rainbow

What fruit of all thy blossom shed
Remaineth unto me?
'A dream, whereon thy Fancy fed,
Shall spin anon her golden thread,
And then, of fetters free,
Arise with radiant pinions spread,
To heights of Poesy.'

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