He was a man at nineteen who danced the skies
As death's grasp was ever tugging at his soul.
In the blue his British brother's spitfire squad
Sneered at death as each day took its ghastly toll.
His wings took him where, as a child, he could only stare
And wonder - If I fell, would the clouds catch me?
My comrades have fallen all around and I find
It is their love and courage that guide me there -
In that beautiful blue, there is a quiet peace.
High, before the eagle dives it screams a loud cry
That God's love and strength will guide their flight.
So, at the last, I shall trust to be caught by the clouds ...
In honor of John Gillespie Magee Jr., his courage, and his poems.
Within a year after writing his most famous poem "High Flight"
his plane crashed into a field and he died at 19. It is the most famous poem ever written about flight.
From "High Flight" by John Magee
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept 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.