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.

by William Ernest Henley

Comments (274)

There is a movie called "invictus". Is that movie named after this poem?
i am the master of my soul.
Such an enthralling poem.
This is a poem with an irresistible and inspiring message, that is for certain. Yet in spite of its strong assertion that we are indeed the captain of our soul, we are reminded of instances when this may not be entirely true. The effect is like the well known basic law of physics - whatever force is applied against a brick wall, the brick wall applies equal force in opposition so that both are cancelled out. That is how I find myself reacting to this poem.
My favorite
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