After arriving there, Ryan realized that he would not be able to express his strong views in support of the Confederacy. Frustrated, and feeling ignored by his immediate superior, he wrote directly to the Superior General of the Congregation in Paris, asking to be released from his oath of obedience.
Abram Joseph Ryan, Father Ryan's Poems
He pleaded his poor health and his personal conflict with the Provincial Superior. After not receiving a reply, he sent a second request, to which he received a positive response the following August. He determined to sign the release forms on that following September 1 and immediately returned home, where he was soon joined by his brother David, who had left the seminary in New York with the intention of enlisting in the Confederate Army. Early researcher the Rev. Joseph McKey believed that Ryan took occasional periods of sick leave from these positions due to bouts of neuralgia, but Ryan's friend, Monsignor J.
Lucey and several other clerical contemporaries believed that Ryan had made sporadic early appearances as a free-lance chaplain among Confederate troops from Louisiana. Some circumstantial evidence supports Lucey's position; Ryan's handwritten entries disappeared from the St.
Mary's Seminary house diary for a full month after the battle of First Manassas, for example, during a period when the Archbishop of New Orleans was actively recruiting free-lance unofficial Catholic chaplains to serve Louisiana troops. And in a newspaper account of his sermon in Alexandria, Virginia, Ryan was quoted as having mentioned his ministry to Louisiana soldiers during the war.
Respected Tennessee historian Thomas Stritch confirms that Ryan began making appearances in Tennessee in , even while his official postings were in Niagara and Illinois, and these absences from his northern posts may have been the underlying cause of his frequent reassignments.
Ryan began full-time pastoral duties in Tennessee in late or early Though he never formally joined the Confederate Army , he clearly was serving as a freelance chaplain by the last two years of the conflict, with possible appearances at the Battle of Lookout Mountain and the Battle of Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga both in late November , and well-authenticated service at the Battle of Franklin November and the subsequent Battle of Nashville December Some of his most moving poems—"In Memoriam" and "In Memory of My Brother"—came in response to his brother's death, who died while serving in uniform for the Confederacy in April , probably from injuries suffered during fighting near Mt.
Sterling, Kentucky. Ryan's name a year later. Published only months after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox , "The Conquered Banner" captured the spirit of sentimentality and martyrdom then rising in the South. Its metrical measure was taken, he once told a friend, from one of the Gregorian hymns. Within months it was being recited or sung everywhere from parlors.
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Treat it gently—it is holy-- For it droops above the dead. Touch it not—unfold it never, Let it droop there, furled forever,. Starting in , near the war's end, Ryan moved from parish to parish throughout the South , moving from a brief posting in Clarksville , Tennessee November March , with subsequent stays in Knoxville April December , Augusta Georgia January April , and a lengthier tenure in Mobile , Alabama June October In Augusta, Georgia, he founded The Banner of the South , a religious and political weekly in which he republished much of his early poetry, along with poetry by fellow-southerners James Ryder Randall , Paul Hamilton Hayne , and Sidney Lanier , as well as an early story by Mark Twain.
His newspaper was also notable for publishing submissions by a number of period women authors, including three poems by Alice Cary , and for his oft-quoted editorial supporting greater appreciation of the role of women in the study of history and literature. He continued to write poems in the Lost Cause style for the next two decades. Among the more memorable are "C. Lee", and "The South".
All centered on themes of heroic martyrdom by men pledged to defend their native land against a tyrannical invader. But he actually penned a far greater number of verses about his faith and spirituality, such as "The Seen and the Unseen" and "Sea Dreamings," which reached a nationwide audience in The Saturday Evening Post January 13, , p. In , Ryan's work was gathered into a collected volume of verse, first titled Father Ryan's Poems and subsequently republished in as Poems: Patriotic, Religious, Miscellaneous.
His collection sold remarkably well for the next half-century, going through more than forty reprintings and editions by the late s.
Ryan's work also found a popular following in his family's ancestral home of Ireland. Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download and read online REV. RYAN book. I weep- and I dream- and I pray.
But my tears are as sweet as the dew-drops That fall on the roses in May; And my prayer, like a perfume from censers, Ascendeth to God night and day. In the hush of the Valley of Silence I dream all the songs that I sing; And the music floats down the dim Valley, Till each finds a word for a wing, That to hearts, like the dove of the Deluge, A message of Peace they may bring. But far on the deep there are billows That never shall break on the beach; And I have heard songs in the Silence That never shall float into speech; And I have had dreams in the Valley Too lofty for language to reach.
And I have seen Thoughts in the Valley- Ah me! How my spirit was stirred! And they wear holy veils on their faces, Their footsteps can scarcely be heard; They pass through the Valley like Virgins, Too pure for the touch of a word!
REV. FATHER ABRAM J. RYAN
Do you ask me the place of the Valley, Ye hearts that are harrowed by Care? It lieth afar between mountains, And God and His angels are there: And one is the dark mount of Sorrow, and one the bright mountain of Prayer. Search Search this site:. Great Is Thy Faithfulness for Harp.
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