Lightenings viii

The annals say: when the monks of Clonmacnoise
Were all at prayers inside the oratory
A ship appeared above them in the air.
The anchor dragged along behind so deep
It hooked itself into the altar rails
And then, as the big hull rocked to a standstill,
A crewman shinned and grappled down a rope
And struggled to release it. But in vain.
`This man can’t bear our life here and will drown,’
The abbot said, `Unless we help him.’ So
They did, the freed ship sailed and the man climbed back
Out of the marvelous as he had known it.



By: Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney Poems

“Seeing Things” (1991)

(Books on Seamus Heaney Poetry)