To the Wingless Victory: A Prayer

WINGLESS Victory, whose shrine
By the Parthenon
Glorified our youth divine,
Hearken! — they are gone,
The young eagles of our nest,
They, the brightest, bravest, best,
They are flown!
Lilies of France,
When first they flew,
Led their lone advance
Great heaven through:
Now soar they, brood on brood,
Like stars for multitude,
To France! France!
Save thou the golden flight
That wakes the morn,
And dares the azure height,
The tempest’s scorn!
Save them o’er land and sea,
In deeps of air!
Thy grace, where’er they be,
Ensphere them there!
Save them, the country’s pride,
Our wingèd youth!
And where they fall enskied,
Save thou the truth,
O Wingless Victory!