I recently went to a BYU-Idaho Collegiate Singer's Concert at the Catholic Basilica in Minneapolis. Both the building and the performance were beautiful. One of the songs was about Leonardo Divinci's inspiration for creating flying machines. Historically, Divinci did in fact create many innovative designs for human flying machines including gliders, parachutes, and helicopters.
The song was entitled "Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine" and I fell in love with the text:
Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine
Tormented by visions of flight and falling,
More wondrous and terrible each than last,
Master Leonardo imagines an engine
To carry a man up into the sun...
And he's dreaming the heavens call him
Softly whispiering their siren-song:
"Leonardo, Leonardo, Vieni a volare."
As the candles burn low he paces and writes,
Releasing purchased pigeons one by one
Into the golden Tuscan sunrise...
And as he dreams, again the calling,
The very air itself gives voice:
"Leonardo, Leonard, vieni a volare."
Vicina all' element del fuoco...
Scratching quill on crumpled paper
(Rete, canna, filo, carta.)
Images of wing and frame and
fabric fastened tightly.
...sulla suprema sottile aria.
As the midnight watchtower toils,
Over rooftop, street and dome,
The triumph of a human being ascending
In the dreaming of a mortal man.
Leonardo steels himself.
Takes one last breath, and leaps...
"Leonardo vieni a volare! Leonardo, sognare!"
Text: Charles Anthony Silvestri (Italian fragments from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci)