Treasure Island

John Gillespie Magee

(9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941 / Shanghai)


  • ''Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings ...
    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.''
    John Gillespie Magee (c. 1922-1941), U.S.-born pilot with Royal Canadian Air Force. High Flight (written 1941). first and last lines of the sonnet. Magee died while on a bombing mission over Germany. The verse was later quoted by President Ronald Reagan following the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986.
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Per Ardua

(To those who gave their lives to England during the Battle of
Britain and left such a shining example to us who follow, these
lines are dedicated.)
'They that have climbed the white mists of the morning;
They that have soared, before the world's awake,
To herald up their foeman to them, scorning
The thin dawn's rest their weary folk might take;
Some that have left other mouths to tell the story
Of high, blue battle, quite young limbs that bled,

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