Whelps and dams

In the tower Stephen has listened to Mulligan warbling phrases from two vapidly rhapsodic early poems by "Algy": "great sweet mother" and "Ask nothing more of me, sweet." In the library he takes his own, less sweet crack at the famous English poet. Recalling words from a recently published sonnet—"Whelps and dams of murderous foes whom none / But we had spared..."—he refers with withering irony to "the concentration camp sung by Mr Swinburne." His contempt for the poem's defense of British atrocities in South Africa reflects opinions expressed publicly in England, France, and America as well as Ireland.

John Hunt 2021

Edition of Swinburne's last volume of verse. Source: www.scribd.com.

Burning of Commandant Fourie's Farmstead, Perzikfontein, in the Orange Free State, a 1900 sketch by British war artist Richard Caton Woodville.
Source: Stephen Mitford Goodson, The Genocide of the Boers.