Lead, kindly light

Looking at the naked woman depicted in a scene from Ruby, Bloom notes that the illustrator has preserved some decorum: "Sheet kindly lent." (And indeed this phrase was in the novel.) He may also be irreverently echoing the opening words of a popular hymn, "Lead, Kindly Light," the words for which were written by John Henry Newman (later Cardinal Newman) in 1833 as a poem titled The Pillar of Cloud. Bloom has a history with this song: in Penelope Molly recalls a time when he got her a gig singing Rossini's Stabat Mater in a church by telling the Jesuit organizers that he was setting Newman's words to music.

John Hunt 2017

An infirm John Henry Newman on board a ship in the Mediterranean, by an unknown artist. Source: www.cyberhymnal.org.

Performance of Lead, Kindly Light by an unknown choir. Source: YouTube.