Friday, October 17, 2008

"High Church", a poem based on "High Flight"


"High Flight" is one of my favourite poems.  You may have read it.  You may have seen the YouTube!


Now - read my version, written after a visit to the Washington National Cathedral for choral evensong.  I call it "High Church".

High Flight


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 untresspassed sanctity of space,


Put out my hand and touched the face of God.



Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee

No 412 squadron, RCAF

Killed 11 December 1941  (aged 19)






High Church


Oh! I have left the vacuous hassled world behind.


And settled silently into Gothic-carved woodwork; 


Stunned I’ve knelt, and joined the transfixed multitude


Of ordinary people – caught up in a place


Unlike any other – echoing with soaring sounds


Bathed in a thousand stained glass beams of light


I’ve lost myself under lofty vaults of stone


Suspended between earth and heaven,


Up, up the high, lofty portals of beauty itself, 

I’ve felt the cosmic condescension of grace


Looked upon the faces of angels and with sacred, solemn elation beheld,


The exalted realm of divine worship;


With opened heart, I’ve bent my ears,


Listened to the choir and heard the voice of God.



Pastor Jonathan Naumann

Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

Addicted to Cathedral services (aged 51)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, If only everyone could experience worship as God wants it to be: an event in which He adds even more to his gift of the abundant life.