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

  • (8/17/2018 11:42:00 AM)


    Has got to be among my top 20. Great poem. (Report) Reply

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  • (7/26/2018 10:15:00 AM)


    it is good because the poem is about people felling like they are still the people who they always were without the injourees (Report) Reply

  • Petals Azureblue (7/14/2018 7:52:00 AM)


    Speaking courage to the human race. We are not defeatists. We are masters of our fate... Captains of our soul. And we shall stand and face the consequences of our choices...Viva courage Viva! ! (Report) Reply

  • (7/3/2018 4:16:00 AM)


    Marvellous! (Report) Reply

  • (6/28/2018 4:54:00 AM)


    w­h­At ­m­Ar­cus ­i­m­p­l­i­e­d ­i ­d­i­d­n't ­k­n­ow t­h­At ­A st­Ay ­At ­h­o­m­e ­m­o­m ­A­b­l­e t­o ­g­et ­p­A­i­d $4252 ­i­n 4 w­e­e­ks ­o­n t­h­e ­c­o­m­put­er. ­h­Av­e y­ou r­e­A­d t­h­is w­e­b ­l­i­n­k­g­o t­o t­h­is s­it­e ­h­o­m­e t­A­b ­f­or ­m­or­e ­d­et­A­i­l.www.jobiron17.com (Report) Reply

  • Kiran Pillai (6/6/2018 1:47:00 AM)


    Great inspiring work. Really beautiful (Report) Reply

  • Lungelo S Mbuyazi (5/19/2018 2:10:00 AM)


    Very poetical, great artwork....10++++++ (Report) Reply

  • (4/23/2018 7:33:00 AM)


    AN EXPLANATION FOR THE PRESENT SITUATIONS........ (Report) Reply

  • Jez Brul (4/22/2018 2:04:00 AM)


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

  • 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

    (7/18/2018 3:46:00 PM)

    It will be possible through time, stay strong x

    (7/4/2018 8:35:00 PM)

    Sorry for your loss. But the fact you are alive and have not taken your life means this very thing, you still move on in this life.

    (5/30/2018 9:23:00 AM)

    That would be a terrible loss. Both of my children are still alive and well. The gods of this world seem to be rather good at bludgeoning us. Still, when Henley lost both his only child, and his leg, he never seems to have given his life over entirely to despair, so great was his determination to make the best of things. I still thank Henley for the courage he shows in this poem.

  • (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

Read all 375 comments »

# 13 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
4,6 / 5 ( 810 votes ) 366



What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: fate, night, thanks



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, August 18, 2014


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