The Works of James Joyce

Subtitle

INDECENT AND OBSCENE

by Maureen Charlton

O Nora dear, and did you hear what Maunsel’s men have done?

They’ve pulped the proofs of Dubliners in a fit of Irish fun;

A Little cloud, Two Gallants, Araby and Eveline,

Their lives all neatly ended by Falconer’s guillotine!

I met with Padraic Colum in the Scotch house on Burgh Quay,

"When will Dubliners be published?" was his civil enquiry,

"I hear Parnell’s sad encounter in Committee Room Fifteen

Has got the chop at the hands of gents in the publication scene."

Then tell me, Mr.Printer, when publication date will dawn,

Will it be this year, or nineteen sixteen or nineteen forty-one?"

Not until red red roses change their hue to shamrock green,

Until that day my work, they’ll say, is indecent and obscene.

Oh, all my dear old Dubliners, I’ll name you one by one,

Are deemed unfit for smiling Irish eyes to gaze upon;

A Mother, Two Sisters, The Boarding House and Grace,

The Dead, and Clay and Counterparts and After the race,

I met with C.P.Curran and he took me by the hand,

He said "How goes the writing since you left your native land?"

Who would think they’d pulp your stories, you’re the conscience of the Race,"

And both of us agreed it was a Painful Case.

Then tell me, Mr.Printer, when publication date will dawn,

Will it be this year, or nineteen sixteen or nineteen forty-one?"

Not until red red roses change their hue to shamrock green

Until that day my work, they’ll say, is indecent and obscene.

© Maureen Charlton

With kind permission from Hugh Charlton

www.apollogallery.ie

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SANDYMOUNT STRAND

 

Why does the sea go out so far along this stretch of land?

The waves as they roll they leave behind their imprint in the sand;

From Irishtown to Merrion Gates in silence we strolled that strand

The lights of Howth they beckoned like the tip of a fairy’s wand

And he smiled at me in his manner free and he said as he took my hand,

"Will you walk with me to Trieste," said he,

"away from Sandymount Strand?"

The lingering glow of the fading day still smiled on us lovingly

As the evening in June began to fold the world in its mystery.

Seagulls screamed and swooped in the sky overhead on their way to infinity

As a cluster of purple stars looked down on the church of the Star of the Sea.

And he smiled at me in his manner free and he said as he took my hand

"Will you walk with me to Trieste" said he

"away from Sandymount Strand?"

"Alive, alive o, alive o," he sang and he picked up a shell from the strand,

"Nora Barnacle, you’ll cling to me," and he wrote both our names in the sand,

"From Nassau Street to the Pigeon House, you’re the Princess of all that land;

You’re the Princess of seaweed and sand and sky,

they’re all under your command."

And he smiled at me in his manner free and he said as he took my hand,

"Will you walk with me to eternity along

Sandymount Strand?"

© Maureen Charlton

With kind permission by Hugh Charlton

http://www.apollogallery.ie/

 

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