He travels after a winter sun,
Urging the cattle along a cold red road,
Calling to them, a voice they know,
He drives his beasts above Cabra.
The voice tells them home is warm.
They moo and make brute music with their hoofs.
He drives them with a flowering branch before him,
Smoke pluming their foreheads.
Boor, bond of the herd,
Tonight stretch full by the fire!
I bleed by the black stream
For my torn bough!
Note: "This book [Pomes Penyeach] cost a shilling, so that we might have expected from its title a dozen poems, but Joyce followed an Irish custom in adding a 'tilly' (from Irish tuilleadh, an added measure), a thirteenth poem, the first poem in the book being titled 'Tilly'. He probably had in mind the custom of Dublin milkmen and milkwomen of pouring an extra amount of milk into the purchaser's receptacle from the small, usually pint-sized, tilly can that accompanied a larger can or churn." (Jeffares and Kennelly) This poem was originally written as "Cabra" in 1903, "sometime after the death of his mother [May Joyce] on 13 August. The poem was revised in 1919 and retitled 'Ruminants.' Joyce later rewrote the poem, yet again, renaming it 'Tilly,' and placed it first in his collection Pomes Penyeach (1927)." (Fargnoli and Gillespie) "Cabra" is a name of "a Dublin district where Joyce's family lived at 7 St Peter's Terrace from late October 1902 until late March 1904." (Fargnoli and Gillespie)
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