Then, gazing over the handkerchief, he said:. A new art colour for our Irish poets: snotgreen. He mounted to the parapet again and gazed out over Dublin bay, his fair oakpale hair stirring slightly. The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea. Epi oinopa ponton. Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks! I must teach you. You must read them in the original. She is our great sweet mother. Come and look. Stephen stood up and went over to the parapet. Leaning on it he looked down on the water and on the mailboat clearing the harbourmouth of Kingstown.
But to think of your mother begging you with her last breath to kneel down and pray for her. And you refused. There is something sinister in you Stephen, an elbow rested on the jagged granite, leaned his palm against his brow and gazed at the fraying edge of his shiny black coat-sleeve.
Pain, that was not yet the pain of love, fretted his heart. Silently, in a dream she had come to him after her death, her wasted body within its loose brown graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, that had bent upon him, mute, reproachful, a faint odour of wetted ashes.
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Across the threadbare cuffedge he saw the sea hailed as a great sweet mother by the wellfed voice beside him. The ring of bay and skyline held a dull green mass of liquid.
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A bowl of white china had stood beside her deathbed holding the green sluggish bile which she had torn up from her rotting liver by fits of loud groaning vomiting. I must give you a shirt and a few noserags. How are the secondhand breeks? Secondleg they should be.
Dee Davis – Romance Matters Blog
God knows what poxy bowsy left them off. I have a lovely pair with a hair stripe, grey. Etiquette is etiquette. General paralysis of the insane! He swept the mirror a half circle in the air to flash the tidings abroad in sunlight now radiant on the sea. His curling shaven lips laughed and the edges of his white glittering teeth.
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Laughter seized all his strong wellknit trunk. Stephen bent forward and peered at the mirror held out to him, cleft by a crooked crack.
Hair on end. As he and others see me. Who chose this face for me? This dogsbody to rid of vermin. It asks me too. It does her all right. The aunt always keeps plainlooking servants for Malachi. Lead him not into temptation. And her name is Ursula. If Wilde were only alive to see you!
God knows you have more spirit than any of them. Tell that to the oxy chap downstairs and touch him for a guinea. His old fellow made his tin by selling jalap to Zulus or some bloody swindle or other. God, Kinch, if you and I could only work together we might do something for the island. Hellenise it.
Dee Davis (author)
What have you up your nose against me? Is it Haines? Palefaces: they hold their ribs with laughter, one clasping another. O, I shall expire! Break the news to her gently, Aubrey!
I shall die! Shouts from the open window startling evening in the quadrangle. Buck Mulligan asked impatiently. Cough it up. What have you against me now? They halted, looking towards the blunt cape of Bray Head that lay on the water like the snout of a sleeping whale. Stephen freed his arm quietly. A light wind passed his brow, fanning softly his fair uncombed hair and stirring silver points of anxiety in his eyes.
I remember only ideas and sensations. What happened in the name of God? Your mother and some visitor came out of the drawingroom. She asked you who was in your room. You saw only your mother die. I see them pop off every day in the Mater and Richmond and cut up into tripes in the dissectingroom. Her cerebral lobes are not functioning.
She calls the doctor sir Peter Teazle and picks buttercups off the quilt. I suppose I did say it. He had spoken himself into boldness. Stephen, shielding the gaping wounds which the words had left in his heart, said very coldly:. He walked off quickly round the parapet. Stephen stood at his post, gazing over the calm sea towards the headland.
Sea and headland now grew dim. Pulses were beating in his eyes, veiling their sight, and he felt the fever of his cheeks. What does it care about offences? Chuck Loyola, Kinch, and come on down.
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The Sassenach wants his morning rashers. Woodshadows floated silently by through the morning peace from the stairhead seaward where he gazed. Inshore and farther out the mirror of water whitened, spurned by lightshod hurrying feet. White breast of the dim sea. The twining stresses, two by two. A hand plucking the harpstrings, merging their twining chords. Wavewhite wedded words shimmering on the dim tide. A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly, shadowing the bay in deeper green.
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It lay beneath him, a bowl of bitter waters. Her door was open: she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside.
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She was crying in her wretched bed. Her secrets: old featherfans, tasselled dancecards, powdered with musk, a gaud of amber beads in her locked drawer. A birdcage hung in the sunny window of her house when she was a girl. She heard old Royce sing in the pantomime of Turko the Terrible and laughed with others when he sang:.
Folded away in the memory of nature with her toys. Memories beset his brooding brain.