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.
William Ernest Henley
The title for the movie “Invictus” is the same as one of
William Ernest Henley’s poems. The movie is about Nelson Mandela’s rise
from being a prisoner to the president of his country. He showed by the way
he lived his life that he was the “master of his fate” and “captain of his
soul.” As president, he turned enemies into friends, and treated both black
and white as one big family, during a very trying post-apartied time. Both movie
and poem have many levels of meaning, but the foundation for both is
courage. Without the courage of our convictions, and the courage to follow
our dreams, who are we? How much can we contribute to society?
This seems like a superb poem to memorize and chant to
ourselves when we feel courage lacking in our lives to do the right thing.