Treasure Island

William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Monday, August 18, 2014

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Comments about this poem (Invictus by William Ernest Henley )

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  • Brent Cohick (8/2/2014 4:38:00 PM)

    Ok, I find it very disheartening, the absolute darkness of this piece. To look into the beauty of creation and not be able to see a creator, one must simply be blind. it's like gazing at a Rembrandt and saying that's a blank canvas with some chicken scratch on it. To believe that all of this is formed at chance? I am proud to say I'm not stubborn enough to have never bowed my head to God. I am humbled by what my Master did for me. His name is Jesus. (Report) Reply

  • Ben Miller (5/1/2014 9:27:00 PM)

    He displaces perfectly contradicting theories of being a tool of fate (when he speaks of gods controlling his abilities) or having the choice in your life. Also he shows in the last paragraph that even in the uncontrollable situations that are presented to you, How charged the punishments of the scroll, you are still the captain of your soul. Finally he shows that the ability to think critically about how much control you have over your own life proves that you have at least basic ability. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (4/27/2014 12:32:00 AM)

    ......an amazing poem....love these lines
    ~I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.~
    truly everyone is the captain of their own soul
    through space and time, therefore we actually
    do travel alone.... and not knowing
    exactly when, where or what time our journey
    shall come to an end....is the greatest surprise
    life shall give us.... (Report) Reply

  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (4/1/2014 11:28:00 AM)

    One of my favorite poems.It speaks of free will and independence the first time I heard it read was a poetry convention several years ago...Poets certainly have mighty voices... (Report) Reply

  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (4/1/2014 11:28:00 AM)

    One of my favorite poems.It speaks of free will and independence the first time I heard it read was a poetry convention several years ago...Poets certainly have mighty voices... (Report) Reply

  • Jagruti Mohapatra (3/26/2014 8:54:00 AM)

    It gives me strength to endure all the pain life throws at me. I read this poem when I am feeling down or lost or hopeless. It gives me courage to stand strong and work hard to achieve my dream. (Report) Reply

  • Kepa Gadu (3/25/2014 4:28:00 PM)

    just as Daniel implied I am inspired that you able to earn $8854 in a few weeks on the computer. site here http: //tr.im/4zzny (Report) Reply

  • Cassaries Johnson (3/6/2014 11:42:00 PM)

    A nice, simple poem about controlling one's own destiny. If only more people would actually control their lives instead relying on other people or a divine being to do it for them. (Report) Reply

  • Yolo Mcswaggington (3/6/2014 8:36:00 PM)

    This poem is about a man and his ugly wife. They both like to butt-bash their blubbery asses together in a mid-air butt-five. The sad part of this poem is that they have indigestion and whenever they smack their big butts together, they shit everywhere and let the poop splatter all over the place. They also fart which makes everything smell really bad. If I were William Henley I would buy the man and his wife some butt plus so that that they can't poop everywhere.

    However, this poem represents how people shit in their cubicles with their pants all the way down on the floor. The surprising part of this poem is how they whistle while shitting and also fart for like about 20 seconds...

    P.S. Don't forget to fart after you read this... (Report) Reply

  • Yolo Mcswaggington (3/6/2014 8:35:00 PM)

    This poem is about a man and his ugly wife. They both like to butt-bash their blubbery asses together in a mid-air butt-five. The sad part of this poem is that they have indigestion and whenever they smack their big butts together, they shit everywhere and let the poop splatter all over the place. They also fart which makes everything smell really bad. If I were William Henley I would buy the man and his wife some butt plus so that that they can't poop everywhere.

    However, this poem represents how people shit in their cubicles with their pants all the way down on the floor. The surprising part of this poem is how they whistle while shitting and also fart for like about 20 seconds...

    P.S. Don't forget to fart after you read this... (Report) Reply

  • Aaaqil Medalla (2/17/2014 2:34:00 AM)

    Soccer is so fun,
    I kick the ball and run,
    I score and it is now 1 to none,
    I can't believe on what ive done,
    Times up we won! (Report) Reply

  • Aaaqil Medalla (2/4/2014 6:47:00 PM)

    Glitches with no witches
    Games have scary witches,
    That don’t need scary witches.
    Some games are for kids,
    That don’t need to be in Madrid.
    In Mario three scary figures will appear,
    And the figures will not flee like fear.
    In a game called Half-Life,
    Will scare you like a bread knife.
    Zombies in Half-Life say something unhuman.
    Reverse it and the zombies say this
    “GOD HELP ME! GOD HELP! ”
    It will scare you like a toddler’s yelp.
    In a game called Paranormal,
    The game is so unnormal.
    Look in a cracked wall,
    You see a bunny on a bed,
    It is funny on your head.
    Look again,
    And the bunny looks at you.
    There is a game called Black Ops,
    Get a sniper,
    Scope up,
    And see a face appear. (Report) Reply

  • Aaaqil Medalla (2/3/2014 9:07:00 PM)

    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.
    William Ernest Henley (Report) Reply

  • Charles Monroe (12/29/2013 1:12:00 PM)

    ”For the Gangster Sh_t I do

    Mother Earth and Father Time
    Listen to your Children’s rhyme
    Hoping prayer can get me through
    All the Gangster Shit I do.

    Word to Wordsworth, word to Keats
    Hieroglyphs within my sheets
    Word to Gorky, Word to Pablo
    Word to Diego, and Leonardo
    I am the result of those
    Of whom Time and Nature chose.

    Word to Juana word to Sylvia
    Word to Sandra and Virginia
    Word to Maya Angelou
    My graffiti Popol Vuh,
    Hope the Universe forgive me
    For the Gangster shit I do.

    P.X
    12.30.13
    ... Imperium (Report) Reply

Read all 251 comments »

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