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 the 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, and the freed ship sailed, and the man climbed back Out of the marvellous as he had known it. Excerpt from "Seeing Things" by Seamus Heaney. Copyright c.1991 by Seamus Heaney. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.

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