The Lass of Aughrim


    He stood, holding her head between his hands. Then, slipping one arm swiftly about her body and drawing her towards him, he said softly:
—Gretta, dear, what are you thinking about?
    She did not answer nor yield wholly to his arm. He said again, softly:
—Tell me what it is, Gretta. I think I know what is the matter. Do I know?
    She did not answer at once. Then she said in an outburst of tears:
—O, I am thinking about that song, The Lass of Aughrim.
    She broke loose from him and ran to the bed and, throwing her arms across the bedrail, hid her face. Gabriel stood stock-still for a moment in astonishment and then followed her. As he passed in the way of the cheval glass he caught sight of himself in full length, his broad, wellfilled shirtfront, the face whose expression always puzzled him when he saw it in a mirror, and his glimmering giltrimmed eyeglasses. He halted a few paces from her and said:
—What about the song? Why does that make you cry?

James Joyce. The Dead, Dubliners (Pages 189,190)

I went running off to look at The North Circular Road and ponder on Bloom’s idea of a tramline from the Cattle Market to the Quays when I came to the junction at Aughrim Street and thought of this passage from The Dead, the last story in the collectionDubliners….and couldn’t resist running down it and discovering it.


Joyce, J. (2006) Dubliners, Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism. Edited by Margot Norris, Hans Walter Gabler, and Walter Hettche. New York, United States: Norton, W. W. & Company.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

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