Flights of Fancy

Song Cycle by Burton E. Hardin

Word count: 522

1. The swing [sung text not yet checked]

How do you like to go up in a swing,
  Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
  Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
  Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
  Over the countryside -

Till I look down on the garden green,
  Down on the roof so brown -
Up in the air I go flying again,
  Up in the air and down!

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "La balançoire", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Silver ships [sung text not yet checked]

There are trails that a lad may follow
when the years of his boyhood slip,
but I shall soar like a swallow
on the wings of a Sliver ship,

Guiding my bird of metal
One with her throbbing frame
Floating down like a pedal,
roaring up like a flame

Winding the wind that scatters
Smoke from the chimney's lip,
tearing the clouds to tatters
with the wings of my Silver Ship

Grazing the broad blue-sky light
up where the falcon's fare,
riding the realms of twilight
brushed by a comet's hair.

Snug in my coat of leather,
watching the skyline swing,
shedding the world like a feather
from the tip of a tilted wing.

There are trails that a lad may travel
when the years of his boyhood wane,
but I'll let a rainbow ravel
through the wings of my sliver plane.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Prayer for the Pilot [sung text not yet checked]

Lord of Sea and Earth and Air
 [ ... ]

Authorship

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

4. An Irish airman foresees his death [sung text not yet checked]

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Un aviateur irlandais prévoit sa mort", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 245.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. High flight [sung text not yet checked]

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 heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or 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.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]