unicorn

The unicorn’s song

 


U 14.232-4: Whereat Crotthers of Alba Longa sang young Malachi's praise of that beast the unicorn how once in the millennium he cometh by his horn [...]


The publication of Gogarty's bawdy songs in the appendix of Jeffares' Poems and Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty provides a concrete source for this allusion. The third stanza of Gogarty's "Medical Students' Song" reads:

The Unicorn, it appears,

Can only get a horn in a thousand years;

But when he does, he makes up for arrears –

So here's to Copulation.1

     In Telemachus (U 1.706), Joyce also quotes from the fourth stanza of the poem: 2  

High Church parsons fuck like stoats;

Red-headed women buck like goats;

And all Creation simply gloats

Over Copulation.

     It seems a pity we do not know the tune of the song.

 Harald Beck


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1 The Poems and Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty, collected, edited and annotated by A. Norman Jeffares (2001), p. 825.
2 See John Noel Turner and Marc A. Mamigonian “Solar Patriot: Oliver St. John Gogarty in ‘Ulysses’", in James Joyce Quarterly (Summer, 2004), Vol. 41, No. 4, p. 643.