But they that wait upon the Lord
shall renew their strength; they
shall mount up with wings as
eagles; they shall run, and not
be weary; and they shall walk,
and not faint. Isaiah 41:31
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 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 G. Magee~
In December 1941, Pilot Officer John G. Magee, a 19-year-old American
serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in England, was killed when
his Spitfire collided with another airplane inside a cloud. Several months
before his death, he composed his immortal sonnet High Flight, a copy of
which he had fortunately mailed to his parents in the U.S.A.
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