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Merry Christmas from Dixie

ajryan

To look at him he might inspire some with the notion of a nineteenth century cleric turned poet but would hardly exude confidence as a military chaplain. That was exactly what he was during the War for Southern Independence and after that tragic war he turned his talents to poetry and produced several small volumes that gave a humanity to the conflict that will not be found in mere history. We are fortunate to have had Father Ryan immortalized by the great sculptor Louis Amateis – and a picture of that sculpture concludes this entry – and so from the poet priest, chaplain of the Confederacy, and the immigrant sculptor who gave us so much great art to commemorate all that was best in the Lost Cause we offer both the verse and pictures to remind.

Four thousand years Earth waited,
Four thousand years men prayed,
Four thousand years the Nations sighed
That their King so long delayed.

The Prophets told His coming,
The saintly for Him sighed;
And the star of the Babe of Bethlehem
Shone o’er them when they died.

Their faces towards the Future–
They longed to hail the Light
That in the after centuries,
Would rise on Christmas night.

But still the Saviour tarried,
Within His Father’s home;
And the Nations wept and wondered why
The Promised had not come.

At last Earth’s hope was granted,
And God was a Child of Earth;
And a thousand Angels chaunted
The lowly midnight birth.

Ah! Bethlehem was grander
That hour than Paradise;
And the light of Earth that night eclipsed
The splendors of the skies.

Then let us sing the Anthem
The Angels once did sing;
Until the music of love and praise,
O’er whole wide world will ring.

Gloria in excelsis!
Sound the thrilling song!
In excelsis Deo!
Roll the Hymn along.

Gloria in excelsis!
Let the Heavens ring;
In excelsis Deo!
Welcome, new-born King.

Gloria in excelsis!
Over the sea and land;
In excelsis Deo!
Chaunt the Anthem grand.

Gloria in excelsis!
Let us all rejoice;
In excelsis Deo!
Lift each heart and voice.

Gloria in excelsis!
Swell the Hymn on high;
In excelsis Deo!
Sound it to the sky.

Gloria in excelsis!
Sing it, sinful Earth!
In excelsis Deo!
For the Saviour’s birth.

Thus joyful and victoriously,
Glad and ever so gloriously;
High as the Heavens–wide as the Earth,
Swelleth the Hymn of the Saviour’s birth.

Located Ryan Park, Springhill & North Bayou Street, Mobile, Alabama this sculpture by Louis Amateis is dedicated to FATHER RYAN 1839-1886 (On back of stele, on upper plaque, below image of flag, raised:) THE WARRIOR'S BANNER TAKES ITS FLIGHT TO GREET THE WARRIOR'S SOUL (On back of stele, on middle plaque:) THIS MONUMENT TO THE REV. FATHER ABRAM J. RYAN, POET-PRIEST OF THE SOUTH, WAS ERECTED AND DEDICATED AS A TRIBUTE FROM THE PEOPLE OF MOBILE AND OF THE SOUTH JULY 12, 1913. Male figure wearing a priest's gown and cape, stands with both arms extended from under his full-length cape, looking down at his feet, holding a book in his proper left hand. A granite stele stands behind the figure. Both the figure and the stele stand on a low, two-stepped, granite base. Funded by dimes from the children of Mobile, Alabama and the South.

Located Ryan Park, Springhill & North Bayou Street, Mobile, Alabama this sculpture by Louis Amateis is dedicated to FATHER RYAN 1839-1886 (On back of stele, on upper plaque, below image of flag, raised:) THE WARRIOR’S BANNER TAKES ITS FLIGHT TO GREET THE WARRIOR’S SOUL (On back of stele, on middle plaque:) THIS MONUMENT TO THE REV. FATHER ABRAM J. RYAN, POET-PRIEST OF THE SOUTH, WAS ERECTED AND DEDICATED AS A TRIBUTE FROM THE PEOPLE OF MOBILE AND OF THE SOUTH JULY 12, 1913. Male figure wearing a priest’s gown and cape, stands with both arms extended from under his full-length cape, looking down at his feet, holding a book in his proper left hand. A granite stele stands behind the figure. Both the figure and the stele stand on a low, two-stepped, granite base. Funded by dimes from the children of Mobile, Alabama and the South.

 

 

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