William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

William Ernest Henley Poems

81. London Types: Beef-Eater 4/12/2010
82. London Types: Bluecoat Boy 4/12/2010
83. London Types: Bus Driver 4/12/2010
84. London Types: Drum-Major 4/12/2010
85. London Types: Flower-Girl 4/12/2010
86. London Types: Hawker 4/12/2010
87. London Types: 'Liza 4/12/2010
88. London Types: Mounted Police 4/12/2010
89. London Types: News Boy 4/12/2010
90. London Types: Sandwich-Man 4/12/2010
91. London Types: The Artist Muses At His Ease 4/12/2010
92. London Types:Life-Guardsman 4/12/2010
93. London Voluntaries Iv: Out Of The Poisonous East 1/1/2004
94. Madam Life's A Piece In Bloom 1/3/2003
95. Margaritae Sorori 1/4/2003
96. Midsummer Midnight Skies 4/12/2010
97. Music 4/12/2010
98. Nocturn 4/12/2010
99. Not To The Staring Day 4/12/2010
100. O Gather Me The Rose 1/3/2003
101. O, Falmouth Is A Fine Town 4/12/2010
102. O, Have You Blessed, Behind The Stars 4/12/2010
103. O, Time And Change, They Range And Range 4/12/2010
104. On The Way To Kew 4/12/2010
105. One With The Ruined Sunset 4/12/2010
106. Operation 4/12/2010
107. Orientale 4/12/2010
108. Out Of The Night That Covers Me 4/12/2010
109. Over The Hills And Far Away 4/12/2010
110. Pastoral 4/12/2010
111. Praise The Generous Gods 4/12/2010
112. Pro Rege Nostro 4/12/2010
113. Prologue 4/12/2010
114. Romance 4/12/2010
115. Scherzando 4/12/2010
116. Scrubber 4/12/2010
117. She Saunters By The Swinging Seas 4/12/2010
118. Since Those We Love And Those We Hate 2/18/2015
119. Some Starlit Garden Grey With Dew 4/12/2010
120. Space And Dread And The Dark 4/12/2010

Comments about William Ernest Henley

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

    Nice piece of work indeed

    8 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • 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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