Like migratory birds they soared aloft
Making geometric plan in flight;
And though the flesh within was warm and soft,
The eyes that searched the sky were hard and bright.
But hate with hellish speed and guns that reek
Can fool the quickest eye; and burning steel
Soften the hardest heart, and make it weak -
Warm flesh alone can know the pain to feel.
The eager youth, curling beneath the lash
of hailing lead, borne on the breath of hell,
Watched his bright dream become a blinding flash;
And lifted up his head to say farewell.
Granted one glance before a flaming death,
He traced the brilliant outline of the cloud;
And knew then, as he vainly fought for breath
pall of night would be his shroud.
Written in Stalag Luft III
By F/L Harry Crease, RCAF
Shot down by flak, Oct. 1941