William Ernest Henley

Nelson Mandela said that the poem Invictus, by William Ernest Henry, gave him great strength and at times when he felt low he would recite this poem, and it would give him the energy to keep moving forward.

Words and their meanings have great power and can be used for such good in the world. This beautiful and uplifting poem is one such example and I have posted it below.

Invictus

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.