Catholic Poetry

FATHER DAMIEN

By John Bannister Tabb

O God, the cleanest offering

Of tainted earth below,

Unblemished to thy feet we bring—

“A leper white as snow!”

Joyce Kilmer, ed., Dreams and Images: An Anthology of Catholic Poets (Toronto: Musson Book Co., 1917), 253.

NOTE: Born to an affluent Virginia family, John Bannister Tabb (1845-1909) fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. After the war, he converted to Roman Catholicism and taught at a seminary in Maryland. In 1884, he was ordained a priest. During his time he was a widely published poet.

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