Kipling Friday

Hymn of the Triumphant Airman

1929

FLYING EAST TO WEST AT 1000 M.P.H.

OH, LONG had we paltered
      With bridle and girth
Ere those horses were haltered 
      That gave us the Earth-

Ere the Flame and the Fountain, 
      The Spark and the Wheel,
Sank Ocean and Mountain 
      Alike 'neath our keel.

But the Wind in her blowing, 
      The bird on the wind,
Made naught of our going, 
      And left us behind. 

Till the gale was outdriven,
      The gull overflown,
And there matched us in Heaven 
      The Sun-God alone.

He only the master
      We leagued to o'erthrow,
He only the faster
      And, therefore, our foe! 
.	.	.	.	.
Light steals to uncurtain 
      The dim-shaping skies
That arch and make certain 
      Where he shall arise. 

We lift to the onset.
      We challenge anew. 
>From sunrise to sunset,
      Apollo, pursue! 
.	.	.	.	.
What ails thee, O Golden? 
      Thy Chariot is still? 
What Power has withholden 
      The Way from the Will? 

Lo, Hesper hath paled not, 
      Nor darkness withdrawn. 
The Hours have availed not 
      To lead forth the Dawn! 

Do they flinch from full trial, 
      The Coursers of Day? 
The shade on our dial 
      Moves swifter than they! 

We fleet, but thou stayest 
      A God unreleased;
And still thou delayest
      Low down in the East-

A beacon faint-burning,
      A glare that decays
As the blasts of our spurning 
      Blow backward its blaze. 

The mid-noon grows colder, 
      Night rushes to meet,
And the curve of Earth's shoulder 
      Heaves up thy defeat.

Storm on at that portal,
      We have thee in prison! 
Apollo, immortal,
      Thou hast not arisen!
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