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Chamber Music

James Joyce

Book Overview: 

Chamber Music is a collection of poems by James Joyce. The collection originally comprised thirty-four love poems, but two further poems were added before publication.

Although the poems did not sell well, they received some critical acclaim. Ezra Pound admired the “delicate temperament” of these early poems, while Yeats described “I hear an army charging upon the land” as “a technical and emotional masterpiece”. In 1909, Joyce wrote to his wife, “When I wrote [Chamber Music], I was a lonely boy, walking about by myself at night and thinking that one day a girl would love me.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .XI
Bid adieu, adieu, adieu,
Bid adieu to girlish days,

XII

XII
What counsel has the hooded moon
Put in thy heart, my shyly sweet,

XIII

XIII
Go seek her out all courteously,
And say I come,

XIV

XIV
My dove, my beautiful one,
Arise, arise!

XV

XV
From dewy dreams, my soul, arise,
From love's deep slumber and from death,

XVI

XVI
O cool is the valley now
And there, love, will we go

XVII

XVII
Because your voice was at my side
I gave him pain,

XVIII

XVIII
O Sweetheart, hear you
Your lover's tale;

XIX

XIX
Be not sad because all men
Prefer a lying clamour before you:

XX

XX
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