Monday, December 20, 2021

John Banister Tabb

John Banister Tabb (1845―1909) is a Virginia-born poet. He served in the Confederate army, and was imprisoned by the Union army for eight months. In 1884 he was ordained as a priest. He also taught English and Greek for many years at St. Charles College in Maryland.

His poems appeared in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, and Harper’s Monthly, and later appeared in several volumes of his own poems. From the time he was fourteen his eyesight was poor, and later in life he went completely blind ― which makes his attention to the visual in the following poem noteworthy.

English poet Alice Meynell compiled A Selection from the Verses of John B. Tabb in 1906.

The Light Of Bethlehem

'Tis Christmas night! the snow,
A flock unnumbered lies:
The old Judean stars aglow,
Keep watch within the skies.

An icy stillness holds
The pulses of the night:
A deeper mystery infolds
The wondering Hosts of Light.

Till, lo, with reverence pale
That dims each diadem,
The lordliest, earthward bending, hail
The Light of Bethlehem!

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock.