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. Hov'ring 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 height with easy grace
             Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
             And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
             The high, untresspassed sanctity of space,
             Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

                                    -- John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
	Thanks to Nate Werve 
	for the following corrected biography.

	Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr. #412 Squadron,
	RCAF (1922-1941), was a 19-year-old American/British
	fighter pilot who flew with the Royal Canadian Air
	Force in World War II. He came to Britain, flew in a
	Spitfire Squadron, and was killed at age 19 on
	December 11, 1941, during a training flight from the
	airfield near Scopwick, Lincolnshire. The poem was
	written on the back of a letter to his parents, which
	stated, "I am enclosing a verse I wrote the other day.
	It started at 30,000 feet, and was finished soon after
	I landed."

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Created: 1997
Last Updated: May 28, 2000