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Flight

high_flight_1.jpg

"High Flight"

By John G. Magee on September 3, 1941.

 

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 hovering 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 wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark nor ever 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

 

Magee was born in Shanghai, China, of missionary parents-an American father and an English mother, and spoke Chinese before English. He was educated at Rugby school in England and at Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut. He won a Scholarship to Yale, but instead joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in late 1940, trained in Canada, and was sent to Britain. He flew in a Spitfire squadron and was killed on a routine training mission on December 11, 1941.

Go Air Force