Page:Ulysses, 1922.djvu/48

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45
 

them bloody well boulders, bones for my steppingstones. Feefawfum. I zmellz
de bloodz odz an Iridzman.
       A point, live dog, grew into sight running across the sweep of sand.
Lord, is he going to attack me? Respect his liberty. You will not be master of
others or their slave. I have my stick. Sit tight. From farther away, walking
shoreward across from the crested tide, figures, two. The two maries. They
have tucked it safe mong the bulrushes. Peekaboo. I see you. No, the dog.
He is running back to them. Who?
       Galleys of the Lochlanns ran here to beach, in quest of prey, their blood-
beaked prows riding low on a molten pewter surf. Dane vikings, torcs of
tomahawks aglitter on their breasts when Malachi wore the collar of gold. A
school of turlehide whales stranded in hot noon, spouting, hobbling in the
shallows. Then from the starving cagework city a horde of jerkined dwarfs, my
people, with flayers’ knives, running, scaling, hacking in green blubbery
whalemeat. Famine, plague and slaughters. Their blood is in me, their lusts
my waves. I moved among them on the frozen Liffey, that I, a changeling,
among the spluttering resin fires. I spoke to no-one : none to me.
       The dog’s bark ran towards him, stopped, ran back. Dog of my enemy. I
just simply stood pale, silent, bayed about. Terribilia meditans. A primrose
doublet, fortune’s knave, smiled on my fear. For that are you pining, the bark
of their applause? Pretenders : live their lives. The Bruce’s brother, Thomas
Fitzgerald, silken knight, Perkin Warbeck, York’s false scion, in breeches of
silk of whiterose ivory, wonder of a day, and Lambert Simnel, with a tail of
nans and sutlers, a scullion crowned. All kings’ sons. Paradise of pretenders
then and now. He saved men from drowning and you shake at a cur’s yelping.
But the courtiers who mocked Guido in Or san Michele were in their own
house. House of... We don’t want any of your medieval abstrusiosities. Would
you do what he did? A boat would be near, a lifebuoy. Natürlich, put there
for you. Would you or would you not? The man that was drowned nine
days ago off Maiden’s rock. They are waiting for him now. The truth, spit it
out. I would want to. I would try. I am not a strong swimmer. Water cold
soft. When I put my face into it in the basin at Clongowes. Can’t see ! who’s
behind me? Out quickly, quickly ! Do you see the tide flowing quickly in on
all sides, sheeting the lows of sands quickly, shellcocoacoloured? If I had land
under my feet I want his life still to be his, mine to be mine. A drowning
man. His human eyes scream to me out of horror of his death. I... With
him together down... I could not save her. Waters : bitter death : lost.