I served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years. From time to time, I had the solemn honor of attending the memorial service of a fallen Airman. Without fail, the following poem, sonnet actually, would be recited. Read more about the poet HERE.
To continue the Poetry Month Celebration, I submit High Flight
The picture is a Supermarine Spitfire - the type of aircraft Pilot Officer Magee was flying when he was killed in action.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Pilot Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force
Killed in Action December 11, 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, 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.