Mulligan's words to the old woman (“Ask nothing more of me, sweet. All I can give you I give”) and the “tender chant” that follows (“Heart of my heart, were it more, / More would be laid at your feet") quote the first four lines of a short poem by Swinburne, The Oblation (1871). It is sung by a man who has “love and no more,” and advances this one flaccid theme and no more. From Stephen's point of view, "Ask nothing more of me" could be Mulligan's theme song.

JH 2011

Photograph of Algernon Charles Swinburne taken by the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company, held in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Source: Wikimedia Commons.