William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

William Ernest Henley Poems

1. With Strawberries We Filled A Tray 12/16/2014
2. Since Those We Love And Those We Hate 2/18/2015
3. From A Window In Princes Street 4/12/2010
4. Prologue 4/12/2010
5. Scrubber 4/12/2010
6. The Ways Are Green 4/12/2010
7. To Me At My Fifth-Floor Window 4/12/2010
8. We Flash Across The Level 4/12/2010
9. While The West Is Paling 4/12/2010
10. Staff Nurse: New Style 4/12/2010
11. Ballade Of Youth And Age 4/12/2010
12. Enter Patient 4/12/2010
13. Visitor 4/12/2010
14. The Wan Sun Westers, Faint And Slow 4/12/2010
15. The Chief 4/12/2010
16. Fresh From His Fastnesses 4/12/2010
17. Orientale 4/12/2010
18. Where Forlorn Sunsets Flare And Fade 4/12/2010
19. Staff Nurse:Old Style 4/12/2010
20. In Fisherrow 4/12/2010
21. When The Wind Storms By With A Shout 4/12/2010
22. Easy Is The Triolet 4/12/2010
23. Etching 4/12/2010
24. Gull In An Aery Morrice 4/12/2010
25. Discharged 4/12/2010
26. Vigil 4/12/2010
27. Trees And The Menace Of Night 4/12/2010
28. You Played And Sang A Snatch Of Song 4/12/2010
29. Villanelle 4/12/2010
30. Clinical 4/12/2010
31. House-Surgeon 4/12/2010
32. On The Way To Kew 4/12/2010
33. Pastoral 4/12/2010
34. To: W A 4/12/2010
35. What Have I Done For You 4/12/2010
36. Space And Dread And The Dark 4/12/2010
37. Before 4/12/2010
38. London Types: The Artist Muses At His Ease 4/12/2010
39. London Types:Life-Guardsman 4/12/2010
40. O, Time And Change, They Range And Range 4/12/2010

Comments about William Ernest Henley

  • Marshia Allen (6/22/2018 6:26:00 PM)


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  • Joseph Dela Sulh (losembe) Joseph Dela Sulh (losembe) (9/29/2015 2:14:00 PM)

    Nice piece of work indeed

  • Manuel Rosenbaum (5/22/2014 4:36:00 PM)

    In 2004, at age 75, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. one of the things that helped me was remembering Invictus which I had memorized as a teenager. It gave me the inner strength and courage to fight back and survive!

  • Charles Darnell Charles Darnell (7/3/2013 4:12:00 PM)

    In answer to Suresh, I believe Henley was referring to death with no afterlife. If you place his life within a historical context, the theory of Evolution had emerged as a dominate force in science. Many people despaired that the theory killed the idea of God. They came to think that there was no God, heaven, or indeed any kind of life after death. I think Henley embraced this and hence the line. This idea is further re-enforced by his final line I am the captain of my soul...in other words, I am responsible for my life, my actions, my spirit and answerable to myself (not to God) .
    This is one of my all time favorite poems.

  • Sharon Coakley (3/19/2013 2:38:00 AM)

    to me this poet had a will to fight. he did not let his struggles no matter how hard it seemed conquered him. He seem very much in touch with pain and hardship and some how his spirit is unbreakable.

  • Jed Mills (2/12/2013 4:00:00 PM)

    I find that the life of this man is very interesting and sad.

  • Suresh Bala (7/5/2010 8:38:00 AM)


    Can someone elaborate the line about the 'Horror of the shade'? Is this a biblical reference?

  • Serene Waters (1/3/2010 2:18:00 AM)

    I just saw the phenomenal movie Invictus five hours ago. This movie, about Nelson Mandela and his ressurrection from being a prisoner to being the president of South Africa, show that iron bars can not stop some men.
    He rehearsed the words of hope from his prison cell in the Poem Invictus, and the power of spirit over matter was manifested. As president, he also quelled the post-apartheid tension, transforming enemies into friends. It is a story about someone with a vision of an ideal world who was able to embrace his nation, both black and white, as his family. His heart will not be forgotten, because without people like him a better world will never come. You will feel so uplifted by this movie! ! !

Best Poem of 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.

Read the full of Invictus

If I Were King

If I were king, my pipe should be premier.
The skies of time and chance are seldom clear,
We would inform them all with bland blue weather.
Delight alone would need to shed a tear,
For dream and deed should war no more together.

Art should aspire, yet ugliness be dear;
Beauty, the shaft, should speed with wit for feather;
And love, sweet love, should never fall to sere,

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