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Poem by Katharine Tynan

For the Airmen

THOU who guidest the swallow and wren,
Keep the paths of the flying men!

Over the mountains, over the seas
Thou hast given the bird-folk compasses.

Thou guidest them, yea, Thou leadest them home
By the trackless ways and the venturesome.

Look Thou then on these bird-men, far
More than the sparrows and swallows are.

When they fly in the wintry weather
Be their compass and chart together.

Keep them riding the wind. Uphold
Their passion of flight lest it grow cold.

Thy right hand be under the wing,
Thy left hand for their steadying.

The Wings of the birds of Heaven be nigh
Lest their wings fail them and they die.

Make Thou their flying as deft and fleet
As the flight of the linnet or the blue-tit.

Thy hand over them, shall they fear
The spears of lightning or any spear?

Thy hand under them, what shall appal?
Not the fierce foe nor the sudden fall.

Show them Thy moon at night: Thy stars
Bid stand as sentinels in their wars.

Yea, make their lone tracks pleasant as
A soft meandering path in grass.

Thou that launchest the wren, the swallow
Guard our flying loves when they follow.

Katharine Tynan

Katharine Tynan's other poems:
  1. Slow Spring
  2. The Truce of God
  3. The Crown
  4. Dead - A Prisoner
  5. Lambs

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