Page:Ulysses, 1922.djvu/12

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9
 

        Of the offence to me, Stephen answered.
       Buck Mulligan swung round on his heel.
        O, an impossible person! he exclaimed.
       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.
       A voice within the tower called loudly :
        Are you up there, Mulligan?
        I’m coming, Buck Mulligan answered.
       He turned towards Stephen and said :
        Look at the sea. What does it care about offences? Chuck Loyola,
Kinch, and come on down. The Sassenach wants his morning rashers.
       His head halted again for a moment at the top of the staircase, level with
the roof.
        Don’t mope over it all day, he said. I ’m inconsequent. Give up the
moody brooding.
       His head vanished but the drone of his descending voice boomed out of
the stairhead :

                                 And no more turn aside and brood
                                 Upon love’s bitter mystery
                                 For Fergus rules the brazen cars.

       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 merg-
ing their twining chords. Wavewhite wedded words shimmering on the dim
tide.
       A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, shadowing the bay in deeper
green. It lay behind him, a bowl of bitter waters. Fergus’ song : I sang it
above in the house, holding down the long dark chords. Her door was open :
she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside.
She was crying in her wretched bed. For those words, Stephen : love’s bitter
mystery.
       Where now?