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Lightenings


LIGHTENINGS VIII,

by Seamus Heaney, 1991



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 shinnied and grappled down a rope
And struggled to release it. But in vain.
'This man can't bear out 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.



Here's a version you can download:

Download Lightenings_viii.rtf