William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

William Ernest Henley Poems

81. Some Starlit Garden Grey With Dew 4/12/2010
82. The Gods Are Dead 4/12/2010
83. In The Placid Summer Midnight 4/12/2010
84. Children: Private Ward 4/12/2010
85. Scherzando 4/12/2010
86. Interior 4/12/2010
87. Under A Stagnant Sky 4/12/2010
88. At Queensferry 4/12/2010
89. Romance 4/12/2010
90. From The Break The Nightingale 4/12/2010
91. Pro Rege Nostro 4/12/2010
92. Epilogue 4/12/2010
93. Back-View 4/12/2010
94. The West A Glimmering Lake Of Light 4/12/2010
95. Unconquerable 4/12/2010
96. The Song Of The Sword--To Rudyard Kipling 4/12/2010
97. In The Dials 4/12/2010
98. Life In Her Creaking Shoes 4/12/2010
99. Fill A Glass With Golden Wine 4/12/2010
100. The Sea Is Full Of Wandering Foam 4/12/2010
101. We'Ll Go No More A-Roving 4/12/2010
102. Casualty 4/12/2010
103. Suicide 4/12/2010
104. Ballade Of Truisms 4/12/2010
105. O, Have You Blessed, Behind The Stars 4/12/2010
106. In Rotten Row 4/12/2010
107. Interlude 4/12/2010
108. Blithe Dreams Arise To Greet Us 4/12/2010
109. London Types: Barmaid 4/12/2010
110. The Past Was Goodly Once 4/12/2010
111. Dedication--To My Wife 4/12/2010
112. The Skies Are Strown With Stars 4/12/2010
113. Crosses And Troubles 4/12/2010
114. Beside The Idle Summer Sea 4/12/2010
115. Praise The Generous Gods 4/12/2010
116. Bring Her Again, O Western Wind 4/12/2010
117. Anterotics 4/12/2010
118. Ballade Of A Toyokuni Colour-Print 4/12/2010
119. Arabian Night's Entertainments 4/12/2010
120. Lady Probationer 4/12/2010

Comments about William Ernest Henley

  • 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.

    38 person liked.
    24 person did not like.
  • 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.

    41 person liked.
    12 person did not like.
  • Jed Mills (2/12/2013 4:00:00 PM)

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

    40 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • 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?

    52 person liked.
    56 person did not like.
  • 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! ! !

    72 person liked.
    19 person did not like.
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


Though, if you ask her name, she says Elise,
Being plain Elizabeth, e'en let it pass,
And own that, if her aspirates take their ease,
She ever makes a point, in washing glass,
Handling the engine, turning taps for tots,
And countering change, and scorning what men say,
Of posing as a dove among the pots,
Nor often gives her dignity away.
Her head's a work of art, and, if her eyes

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