now of another time,
Of soaring wings and slipstream whine
Of airscrew arcs and engine drone,
And cloudy canyons I have known.
Once we were many, and we knew,
The love of thousands, our aircrew,
So many lovers, past recall,
Yet we were faithful to them all.
When towering columns split the night,
With brilliant beams of searching light,
Then in just moments we became,
Small insects, round a naked flame.
And with us then, our young men knew,
An eighth, unwanted, crewman flew,
He whispered, taunted, often near,
Unseen but known, for he was fear.
Time after time, we saw the cost,
To all who fought so well, yet lost,
For them a fiery plunge through space,
In another time, another place.
For you old lovers, youth has gone,
Relentless, time is moving on,
With arms outstretched, with measured pace
To take you all in cold embrace.
Time has not marred my grim old frame,
To your fading eyes, I am the same,
Look well, all strangers standing there,
For I am the mighty LANCASTER.
ex 630 Squadron Royal Air Force