The dragon slothfully drags her scaly folds

U 2.72-4: [...] and in my mind's darkness a sloth of the underworld, reluctant, shy of brightness shifting her dragonscaly folds.

In Stephen Hero we learn:

He was at once captivated by the seeming eccentricities of the prose of Freeman and William Morris. He read them as one would read a thesaurus and made a 'garner' of words. (p. 26)

Dragons traditionally have scaly folds, but the expression "dragonscaly folds" here may well come directly from Joyce’s reading of William Morris, as we find:

That, lion-like, the beast's shape was before,

And that its goat-like, hairy middle bore

A dragon's scaly folds across the waste

Itself had made.

in Morris's Earthly Paradise (1870: Pt IV, February, p. 339).

Harald Beck

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