Out of the Marvellous

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, the freed ship sailed, and the man climbed back

 Out of the marvellous as he had known it

 

-Seamus Heaney

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