The Merlin roared ;
An instrument of death
The Spitfire soared
And caught my breath.

Well can I understand
Perfection in a flower
Or drawn from strings;
But when the Spitfire sings
As she turns away from land
And has her hour,
Whence is this deadly beauty?

Knowing the lesser wrongs need might
If e’er we are to hope for right,
Into a task a life was poured
Fearing no death.
Into the air the Spitfire soared
and caught my breath.

JMT 1944