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 (280)

I love the line I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. so much, am thinking of getting it as a tattoo
To me it seems a pity that this fine poem will always be associated with Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, who chose the final couplet as his last words in the execution chamber. That said, he could hardly have chosen a more apposite poem to quote, given his circumstances and political beliefs. Knowing what McVeigh did, challenges the reader to consider whether unapologetic defiance - which resonates in the poem as a whole, and with which McVeigh met his end - is always the noblest instinct, or for that matter, justified.
I am the captain of my soul..luv the confidence and in charge attitude..
An amazing Poet , this was an masterpiece !
this is my all time favorite poem i memorized it all! ! !
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