Dante, Joyce... hither and thither, hither and thither

Cagnacci, Morte di Lucrezia, c. 1655-63

Inferno, Canto V, Second Circle; Lust

And now begin the dolesome notes to grow
 Audible unto me; now am I come
 There where much lamentation strikes upon me.
I came into a place mute of all light,
 Which bellows as the sea does in a tempest,
 If by opposing winds ‘t is combated.
The infernal hurricane that never rests
 Hurtles the spirits onward in its rapine;
 Whirling them round, and smiting, it molests them.
When they arrive before the precipice,
 There are the shrieks, the plaints, and the laments,
 There they blaspheme the puissance divine.
I understood that unto such a torment
 The carnal malefactors were condemned,
 Who reason subjugate to appetite.
And as the wings of starlings bear them on
 In the cold season in large band and full,
 So doth that blast the spirits maledict;
It hither, thither, downward, upward, drives them;
 No hope doth comfort them for evermore,
 Not of repose, but even of lesser pain.

And as the cranes go chanting forth their lays,
 Making in air a long line of themselves,
 So saw I coming, uttering lamentations,
Shadows borne onward by the aforesaid stress.
 Whereupon said I: “Master, who are those
 People, whom the black air so castigates?”
“The first of those, of whom intelligence
 Thou fain wouldst have,” then said he unto me,
 “The empress was of many languages.
To sensual vices she was so abandoned,
 That lustful she made licit in her law,
 To remove the blame to which she had been led.
She is Semiramis, of whom we read
 That she succeeded Ninus, and was his spouse;
 She held the land which now the Sultan rules.
The next is she who killed herself for love,
 And broke faith with the ashes of Sichaeus;
 Then Cleopatra the voluptuous.”
Helen I saw, for whom so many ruthless
 Seasons revolved; and saw the great Achilles,
 Who at the last hour combated with Love.
Paris I saw, Tristan; and more than a thousand
 Shades did he name and point out with his finger,
 Whom Love had separated from our life.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

He was alone. He was unheeded, happy and near to the wild heart of
life. He was alone and young and wilful and wildhearted, alone amid a
waste of wild air and brackish waters and the sea-harvest of shells
and tangle and veiled grey sunlight and gayclad lightclad figures of
children and girls and voices childish and girlish in the air.

A girl stood before him in midstream, alone and still, gazing out to
sea. She seemed like one whom magic had changed into the likeness of a
strange and beautiful seabird. Her long slender bare legs were
delicate as a crane's and pure save where an emerald trail of seaweed
had fashioned itself as a sign upon the flesh. Her thighs, fuller and
soft-hued as ivory, were bared almost to the hips, where the white
fringes of her drawers were like feathering of soft white down. Her
slate-blue skirts were kilted boldly about her waist and dovetailed
behind her. Her bosom was as a bird's, soft and slight, slight and
soft as the breast of some dark-plumaged dove. But her long fair hair
was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal
beauty, her face.

She was alone and still, gazing out to sea; and when she felt his
presence and the worship of his eyes her eyes turned to him in quiet
sufferance of his gaze, without shame or wantonness. Long, long she
suffered his gaze and then quietly withdrew her eyes from his and bent
them towards the stream, gently stirring the water with her foot
hither and thither. The first faint noise of gently moving water broke
the silence, low and faint and whispering, faint as the bells of
sleep; hither and thither, hither and thither; and a faint flame
trembled on her cheek.

Heavenly God! cried Stephen's soul, in an outburst of profane joy.

He turned away from her suddenly and set off across the strand. His
cheeks were aflame; his body was aglow; his limbs were trembling. On
and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly
to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to