There we were in the vaulted tunnel running, You in your going-away coat speeding ahead And me, me then like a fleet god gaining Upon you before you turned into a reed Or some new white flower japped with crimson As the coat flapped wild and button after button Sprang off and fell in a trail Between the Underground and the Albert Hall. Honeymooning, moonlighting, late for the Proms, Our echoes die in that corridor and now I come as Hansel came on the moonlit stones Retracing the path back, lifting the buttons To end up in a draughty lamplit station After the trains have gone, the wet track Bared and tensed as I am, all attention For your step following and damned if I look back.
— from Station Island, 1984
I come late to Heaney. The pleasure is all the sharper.