A heaven-sent dove with razor-sharp teeth
Don Gifford and Robert Seidman (Ulysses Annotated) remark that “Dublin informants have identified this as a Fenian ballad, but we have been unable to locate a copy in print”.
An unpublished letter at the University of Tulsa from Joyce to his typist Raymonde Linossier of 19 February 1921 indicates that Joyce had only finished the final manuscript (Rosenbach) up to folio 70 by that date. The verse above is to be found on folio 78, and it is not in the earlier so-called “Quinn manuscript”.2
Joyce repeatedly made notes for Ulysses from the pages of The Times while he was in Paris. It seems likely that this Times article did indeed provide him with the text of the Citizen's old Fenian verse quoted in Circe. The change from “shot” to “hanged” was necessary to fit the Croppy Boy context in the lines which follow.
1 There are variants with “dove” replacing “love” from 1852.
2 I am grateful to Ronan Crowley for his help in reliably dating the relevant section of the Rosenbach manuscript.
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