I'm going with a short passage from Dubliners again, this time from "Araby." (Karen rightly rejected a not-so-family-friendly passage from Ulysses. Hey, it's her blog. If I had printed the nixed passage here, Scott Peterson would never again ask, "Why you got no blog?") In this passage, the poor, deluded protagonist describes the intensity of his adoration for Mangan's hypnotic sister:
One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring: "O love! O love!" many times.
Kaboom. At times reading Joyce is like a deep pull on a rich, cool mug of Guinness. One is forced into the contemplation that except for love there may be nothing better this side of heaven. God bless Sir Arthur, and God bless all of you on this St Patrick's Day.