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St Mary Of Egypt

John Bannister Tabb 1845 (Amelia County) – 1909 ( Ellicott City)



Strong to suffer, strong to sin,
Loving much, and much forgiven,
In the desert realm a queen,
Penance-crowned, to cope with Heaven,
Solitude alone could be
Room enough for God and thee.

Long the vigil, stern the fast;
Morn, with night's anointing, chill;
Noon with passion overcast;
Night with phantoms fouler still;
Prayer and penitential tears
Battling with the lust of years.

Low upon the parching sand,
Shrivelled in the blight of day,
As beneath a throbbing brand
Prone thy ghastly shadow lay,
Till the manacles of hell
From thy fevered spirit fell.

Then, O Queen of Solitude!
Silence led thee as a bride,
Clothed anew in maidenhood,
To an altar purified,
Lit with holy fires, to prove
Self the sacrifice of Love.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John Bannister Tabb

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.)  more…

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    "St Mary Of Egypt" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 3 Jul 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/43089/st-mary-of-egypt>.

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