An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

I Know that I shall meet my fate 
Somewhere among the clouds above;
  Those that I fight I do not hate 
Those that I guard I do not love;
  My country is Kiltartan Cross, 
         My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor, 
No likely end could bring them loss 
Or leave them happier than before.
  Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, 
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,

   A lonely impulse of delight 
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
  I balanced all, brought all to mind, 
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
  A waste of breath the years behind 
  In balance with this life, this death.

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