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Quiet Sanctity
Hector John Gaudreau
8X10 Oil on Canvas
This painting was inspired by
High Flight, a poem by
Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

 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 have done a hundred things
   You've not dreamed of -- wheeled, soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence; and 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 wind-swept heights with easy grace
   Where never lark nor 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.

High Flight was written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie MaGee, Jr., an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was born in Shanghai, China in 1922, the son of missionary parents.
He came to the U.S. in 1939 and earned a scholarship to Yale, but in September 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF and graduated as a pilot. He was sent to England for combat duty in July 1941.
In August or September 1941, Pilot Officer MaGee composed High Flight and sent a copy to his parents. Several months later, on December 11, 1941 his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and MaGee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death. It is rumored that MaGee collided with "pieces" of a German Messerschmitt 109 after having "pounced" on it over the English Channel. Seems the ME109 took some serious hits and as it went down, MaGee flew into pieces of the stricken German plane.
His remains are buried in the churchyard cemetery at Scopwick, Lincolnshire.

 

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Background music 
~ "Blue Skies" ~
performed by Hector John Gaudreau. 
Please visit his web site
 Fireside melodies for Lovers
http://www.freehomepages.com/fireside3/CD.html

 


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