After North, Heaney confesses his difficulties of writing poetry in the midst of sectarian violence in Ireland. Many victims and casualties from Ulster conflicts lead him to agonize over his responsibility for the tragic reality he has faced with as a poet. In this respect, elegiac poems in Field Work and Station Island serve for its prime examples. This paper, focusing on Heaney`s psychological responses and feelings of guilt, explores how his elegiac poems share the modern elegy`s traits in the Irish background. Heaney`s elegy can be characterized as "a melancholic elegy," the term coined by Sacks and Ramazani who put great emphasis on poet`s psychological aspects in modern elegy. The mourner or poet in traditional elegy performs some conventional steps to mourn for the dead, through which (s)he can overcome feelings of grief and guilt for the dead. However Heaney as a mourner has much difficulty in performing it, in many cases only to fail. His elegy is self-critical or self-reflexive for fear of aestheticizing and idealizing the death of victims. And he hardly comforts the dead and himself as well, for he cannot provide any reasonable explanation or alternative solution for the tragic reality that has resulted in their deaths. The difficulties sometimes cause his helplessness or lead him to cherish his wish to evade the reality and to forget it. By composing a series of elegies, however, he realizes he has to face his reality as it is and comes to accept the victims` pain and deaths as his own, which Heaney has accomplished as a modern elegist.