Quote: BP Young
How can they know that joy to be alive
Who have not flown?
To loop and spin and roll and climb and dive,
The very sky one’s own,
The urge of power while engines race,
The sting of speed,
The rude winds’ buffet on one’s face,
To live indeed.
How can they know the grandeur of the sky,
The earth below,
The restless sea, and waves that break and die
With ceaseless ebb and flow;
The morning sun on drifting clouds
And rolling downs—
And valley mist that shrouds
The chimneyed towns?
So long has puny man to earth been chained
Who now is free,
And with the conquest of the air has gained
A glorious liberty.
How splendid is this gift He gave
On high to roam,
The sun a friend, the earth a slave,
The heavens home.
This piece is called “Flight” and I encountered it in a little book called Icarus: An Anthology of the Poetry of Flight. This compilation was produced in 1938 by several cadets and one “R de la Bere,” as a collection of verse honoring flight, from all regions and times.