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

  • (12/10/2018 3:13:00 PM)


    I'm part of the invctus team and I submit your poem every year after year (Report) Reply

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  • (11/17/2018 8:44:00 AM)


    These are the lines that drew me in when I first encountered this poem; bloodied but unbowed Master of my fate Captain of my soul bludgeonings of chance Such power in so short a poem. I was mesmerized by the message and still repeat this poem to myself in times of stress and worry. If it is possible to have a love affair with words on a page then I am smitten! There is an intriguing back story to this poem if anyone would wish to engage in some research. (Report) Reply

  • (10/29/2018 1:27:00 AM)


    This poem is the cheese. Love it so. Powerful (Report) Reply

  • (10/23/2018 5:55:00 PM)


    How true regarding our service men and women. Particularly those taking part in the INVICTUS GAME'S (Report) Reply

  • (10/8/2018 6:16:00 AM)


    Though it truly is an inspiring poem, it, however, rules the Almighty out of the picture. (Report) Reply

    (10/10/2018 1:14:00 PM)

    Maybe it implies the subject will face the Almighty face to face and answer for his life. No-one else to blame ? ?

  • (10/4/2018 2:46:00 PM)


    great thung dssxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Report) Reply

  • (9/28/2018 9:26:00 PM)


    I was introduced to Invictus, by my High School teacher, of my class. When I found out that Nelson Mandella had also taken this poem, into his heart, it became even more precious and meaningful to me. (Report) Reply

  • (9/26/2018 2:30:00 PM)


    You guys know the guy who bombed Oklahoma City used it as his final statement right? (Report) Reply

  • (9/19/2018 1:44:00 AM)


    Blacklist 5x08 at Liz's bed Red Reddington (Report) Reply

  • (9/4/2018 3:05:00 PM)


    In 5th grade -I was required to learn and recite a poem. I choose Invictus and it became an integrated piece of my life and will go on my tombstone.......that was over 50 years ago and I still know it word-to-word all these years later. (Report) Reply

  • (8/30/2018 3:57:00 PM)


    Strength in testing times. No wonder they chose to honour servicemen with the Invictus games. (Report) Reply

  • Jez Brul (8/25/2018 9:07:00 AM)


    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    Marvelous lines!
    (Report) Reply

    (9/4/2018 4:00:00 PM)

    It will soothe your soul, if you keep repeating it........

  • (8/17/2018 11:42:00 AM)


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

  • (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

Read all 390 comments »

# 14 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
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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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