Certainly the poems he chose for the Internet Poetry Archive are exemplars of that sense of beauty, depth and exaltation.
Heaney returned to Chapel Hill in May 12, 1996 to deliver our commencement address.
To send off our graduates into their new lives, he quoted from a ballad he had heard whilst growing up in Derry in which a young woman was going off into the world leaving on the 12th of May. There was much wise reflection in his interpretation of that ballad in the context of commencement, but I recalled and recall now the final verse which is a hopeful send off for graduates and for Heaney himself:
So I bade them all good evening
and there I hoisted sail,
Let the best betide my countryside,
my fortune never fail.
Then night coming on, all hopes being gone,
I think I will try elsewhere,
at a dance or a wake my chance I’ll take
and leave Magherafelt May Fair.