Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

High Street, Belfast

High Street, Belfast, 1786

Here are men in tricorn hats
And lownecked belles, all full of chat,
Blocking the vista to the docks;

The loosed-out carts
And panniered horse, the dogs
At random.

It's twenty to four
By the public clock. A cloaked rider
Clops off into an entry

Coming perhaps from the Linen Hall
Or Cornmarket
Where (this civic print unfrozen)

In twelve years time
They hanged young MacCracken -
And this man with a crutch

And this tricorned fop
Forever arrested, pre-revolution.
Pen and ink, water tint

Fence and fetch us in
Under bracketed tavern signs,
The edged gloom of arcades.

It's twenty to four
On one of the last afternoons
Of reasonable light.

Smell the tidal Lagan:
Take a last turn with citizens
In the tang of possibility.
Seamus Heaney

Here is the same scene rather more recently in Google Maps, presumably taken on a Sunday when all the shops were closed.
High St, Belfast


(How did Seamus Heaney know it was twenty to four? I can't see any clocks in the earlier picture. Maybe it's poetic licence.)
Tags: world: northern ireland
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