William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Invictus - Poem by William Ernest Henley

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.


Comments about Invictus by William Ernest Henley

  • Jez Brul (4/22/2018 2:04:00 AM)


    This is, this is such a magnificent soul provoking pronouncement from a genius... :) :) (Report) Reply

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  • Jesking Amu (4/18/2018 7:04:00 PM)


    wow! this is... just wow (Report) Reply

  • (4/13/2018 9:15:00 AM)


    A seriously brave attempt to attack the concept of god. Excellent stuff (Report) Reply

  • Diwata Morales (4/3/2018 12:38:00 AM)


    i love this poem...will keep this in my heart (Report) Reply

  • (3/27/2018 2:49:00 PM)


    This better than Tupac (Report) Reply

    (3/27/2018 2:52:00 PM)

    Fight me 10: 00 cuba

  • (3/26/2018 2:11:00 AM)


    I love the poem. It encourages me and strenghtens my soul. (Report) Reply

  • (3/26/2018 2:08:00 AM)


    I love the poem. It encourages me and strenghtens my soul. (Report) Reply

  • (3/26/2018 2:08:00 AM)


    I love the poem. It encourages me and strenghtens my soul. (Report) Reply

  • (3/20/2018 9:09:00 PM)


    I used to relate to this poem. I really believed I was strong and indomitable. Then my 29 year old son died suddenly of cardiac arrest. I will never again identify emotionly with the sentiments expressed in this poem. Some experiences in life are powerful enough to strike you down to the point that getting up and being strong again is not possible. (Report) Reply

  • (3/19/2018 2:05:00 AM)


    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.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/8/2018 1:29:00 AM)


    It has a strong grip on courage (Report) Reply

  • (3/2/2018 1:50:00 PM)


    Henley wrote Invictus when he was 27, having battled tuberculosis of the bone for years- to which he lost a leg and which eventually killed him at age 53. He was an avowed atheist, so the only place he could look for strength was himself. He didn't believe there was any greater purpose to his pain. His only hope was to take the bludgeonings like a man, which to him meant a stoic resolve never to surrender. (Report) Reply

  • (2/9/2018 8:10:00 AM)


    Very good poem for faint hearts (Report) Reply

  • (2/1/2018 8:42:00 AM)


    Not everyone knows that Nelson Mandela credits recitation of this poem as the source of his strength during 20 years of harsh imprisonment under apartheid. (Report) Reply

    (2/5/2018 11:45:00 AM)

    yes they do

  • Henry Tong (1/28/2018 7:35:00 AM)


    What a self-empowered poem! Strongly charged words with ambition and confidence. (Report) Reply

  • (1/25/2018 4:32:00 PM)


    I like this story because I was learning this story from language arts and one of the best motivational poem ever! (Report) Reply

  • (1/25/2018 4:28:00 PM)


    I like this story because I was learning this story from language arts (Report) Reply

  • (1/25/2018 2:20:00 PM)


    When I was a freshman at Boys High in Brooklyn NY in 1952.We sang the poem to music..Out of the night that covers me (Death) (Report) Reply

  • (1/23/2018 3:14:00 PM)


    I like this story because I was learning this story from language arts. (Report) Reply

  • (1/9/2018 6:06:00 AM)


    I LOVE THIS POEM (Report) Reply

Read all 364 comments »

# 15 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: fate, night, thanks



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, August 18, 2014


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