Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ST. PATRICK'S HYMN BEFORE TARAH, by JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ST. PATRICK'S HYMN BEFORE TARAH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: At tarah [or, tara] to-day, in this awful hour
Last Line: Grant us, o lord, thy grace and salvation!
Variant Title(s): Saint Patrick's Hymn Before Tara
Subject(s): Consolation


At Tarah to-day, in this awful hour,
I call on the Holy Trinity:
Glory to Him who reigneth in power,
The God of the elements, Father and Son
And Paraclete Spirit, which Three are the One,
The ever-existing Divinity!

At Tarah to-day I call on the Lord,
On Christ, the omnipotent Word,
Who came to redeem us from death and sin
Our fallen race:
And I put and I place
The virtue that lieth and liveth in
His incarnation lowly,
His baptism pure and holy,
His life of toil and tears and affliction,
His dolorous death -- His crucifixion,
His burial, sacred and sad and lone,
His resurrection to life again,
His glorious ascension to Heaven's high throne,
And lastly, His future dread
And terrible coming to judge all men --
Both the living and dead . . .

At Tarah to-day I put and I place
The virtue that dwells in the seraphim's love,
And the virtue and grace
That are in the obedience
And unshaken allegiance
Of all the archangels and angels above,
And in the hope of the resurrection
To everlasting reward and election.
And in the prayers of the fathers of old,
And in the truths the prophets foretold,
And in the Apostles' manifold preachings,
And in the confessors' faith and teachings;
And in the purity ever dwelling
Within the immaculate Virgin's breast,
And in the actions bright and excelling
Of all good men, the just and the blest.

At Tarah to-day, in this fateful hour,
I place all heaven within its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And fire with all the strength it hath,
And lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its darkness, --
All these I place,
By God's almighty help and grace,
Between myself and the powers of darkness.

At Tarah to-day
May God be my stay!
May the strength of God now nerve me!
May the power of God preserve me!
May God the Almighty be near me!
May God the Almighty espy me!
May God the Almighty hear me!
May God give me eloquent speech!
May the arm of God protect me!
May the wisdom of God direct me!
May God give me power to teach and to preach!

May the shield of God defend me!
May the host of God attend me,
And ward me,
And guard me
Against the wiles of demons and devils,
Against the temptations of vices and evils,
Against the bad passions and wrathful will
Of the reckless mind and the wicked heart, --
Against every man who designs me ill,
Whether leagued with others or plotting apart!

In this hour of hours,
I place all those powers
Between myself and every foe
Who threaten my body and soul
With danger or dole,
To protect me against the evils that flow
From lying soothsayers' incantations,
From the gloomy laws of the Gentile nations,
From heresy's hateful innovations,
From idolatry's rites and invocations.
Be these my defenders,
My guards against every ban --
And spell of smiths, and Druids, and women;
In fine, against every knowledge that renders
The light Heaven sends us dim in
The spirit and soul of man!
May Christ, I pray,
Protect me to-day
Against poison and fire,
Against drowning and wounding;
That so, in His grace abounding,
I may earn the preacher's hire!

Christ as a light
Illumine and guide me!
Christ as a shield o'ershadow and cover me!
Christ be under me! -- Christ be over me!
Christ be beside me,
On the left hand and right!
Christ be before me, behind me, about me;
Christ this day be within and without me!

Christ, the lowly and meek,
Christ the All-Powerful be
In the heart of each to whom I speak,
In the mouth of each who speaks to me!
In all who draw near me,
To see me or hear me!

At Tarah to-day, in this awful hour,
I call on the Holy Trinity!
Glory to Him who reigneth in power,
The God of the elements, Father and Son
And Paraclete Spirit, which Three are the One,
The ever-existing Divinity!

Salvation dwells with the Lord,
With Christ, the omnipotent Word.
From generation to generation
Grant us, O Lord, thy grace and salvation!





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