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[328] than that, everywhere in his unformulated but profoundly-felt philosophy,—and not in mere figure of speech,—all the outwardly beautiful objects in nature live and breathe and have their being in God as much as we. Almost might St. Francis of Assisi have written Brotherhood:
Knew not the Sun, sweet Violet,
The while he gleaned the snow,
That thou in darkness sepulchred,
Wast slumbering below?
Or spun a splendor of surprise
Around him to behold thee rise?

Saw not the Star, sweet Violet,
What time a drop of dew
Let fall his image from the sky
Into thy deeper blue?
Nor waxed he tremulous and dim
When rival Dawn supplanted him?

And dreamest thou, sweet Violet,
That I, the vanished Star,
The Dewdrop, and the morning Sun,
Thy closest kinsmen are—
So near that, waking or asleep,
We each and all thine image keep?

Quite in keeping with this detachment from mundane affairs, this preoccupation with the abstract relationships of life, is Tabb's absorption in the dogmas of the Church. That they should have engaged his imagination so deeply reveals the strength of his other-worldliness, the extent to which he fled from the ordinary interests of men. One human feeling, however, he displayed in a beautiful degree—friendship. His affection for Sidney Lanier in particular was one of the bright strands in his life. Their few months together in prison reveal an affinity between them that was not dimmed by the lapse of years.

Yet, as we shall see, their poetic styles were in sharp contrast. An English critic has compared ‘the long, voluminous, rushing flow of Lanier with the minute, delicately carved work’ of Tabb rather to the credit of Tabb, who, he says, ‘piping on ’

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