Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Invictus - William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

This poem is the declaration of the indomitable spirit.  The Latin title means "unconquered" and was originally not attached to the poem at its first printing, though it fits perfectly.  In the face of all evil and all horror, in the face of death ("the horror of the shade"), the narrator remains and will forever remain unafraid.  It's an inspirational, bold, and makes me want to be the best I can be.

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