A Poem by John Gillespie Magee KIA WW2

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 cloud – 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 even eagle flew – And,
While with silent lifting wind I’ve trod the
High untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee
Killed in action – 11th December, 1941
Aged 19 years