Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - Command of the Air

"Command of the Air" by O. First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:

"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".

Below is one of eight poems featured within the War in the Air section of the collection.

You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.

Command of the Air
by O.

A thousand years between the sun and sea
Britannia held her court of liberty,
And cradled heroes in the questing waves
That were for lesser men but wandering graves.

Then did the British airman's sea-born skill
Teach wood and metal to foresee his will;
In every cog and joint his spirit stirred;
The Thing possessed was man as well as bird.

A falcon among timorous fowl he flies,
And bears Britannia's battle to the skies;
Vainly the Hun seeks covert in a cloud -
The clinging mist is made his ghostly shroud.

Thus at the ringing gates of heaven's glory
Begin new chapters of our island-story,
And clarion voices of the void declare:
"She who has ruled the sea shall rule the air."

'Push' was slang signifying a large-scale attack upon enemy positions.

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