The time will come, when thou shalt lift thine eyes
To watch a long-drawn battle in the skies.
While aged peasants, too amazed for words,
Stare at the flying fleets of wondrous birds.

England, so long mistress of the sea,
Where winds and waves caress her sovereignty
Her ancient triumphs yet on high shall bear,
And reign, the sovereign of the conquered air.

Translated from Luna Habitabilis by Thomas Gray (1716-71)

Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)