High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue...
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was an American pilot who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. At the age of 19 was killed while flying a
Spitfire during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
During the battle Winston Churchill gave speeches to the nation which included these famous words:"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." "Let us therefore brace ourselves, that, if the Empire and the Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, this was their finest hour."