Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.... Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead.
James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. Stephen Dedalus, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ch. 5 (1916).
Departing from Ireland, in the closing lines of the book. "Old artificer" refers to Daedalus, the mythical craftsman, whose flight from Crete ended in the drowning of his son. Joyce's own experience on fleeing Ireland was characterized by debt and penury.