William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

William Ernest Henley Poems

121. Friends.... Old Friends...... 4/12/2010
122. Ballade Of A Toyokuni Colour-Print 4/12/2010
123. Lady Probationer 4/12/2010
124. Double Ballad Of Life And Death 4/12/2010
125. Andante Con Moto 4/12/2010
126. As Like The Woman As You Can 4/12/2010
127. Over The Hills And Far Away 4/12/2010
128. Operation 4/12/2010
129. Attadale, West Highlands 4/12/2010
130. What Is To Come 4/12/2010
131. Largo E Mesto 4/12/2010
132. After 4/12/2010
133. Ballade Of Midsummer Days And Nights 4/12/2010
134. Allegro Maestoso 4/12/2010
135. Thick Is The Darkness 4/12/2010
136. In The Year That's Come And Gone 4/12/2010
137. Apparition 4/12/2010
138. Last Post 4/12/2010
139. Villon's Straight Tip To All Cross Coves 1/1/2004
140. Out Of The Night That Covers Me 4/12/2010
141. When You Are Old 4/12/2010
142. I. M. R. T. Hamilton Bruce (1846-1899) 1/1/2004
143. Croquis 1/3/2003
144. Ave, Caesar! 4/12/2010
145. Barmaid 1/3/2003
146. I Gave My Heart To A Woman 4/12/2010
147. We Shall Surely Die 4/12/2010
148. A Dainty Thing's The Villanelle 4/12/2010
149. Double Ballade On The Nothingness Of Things 1/3/2003
150. Life Is Bitter 4/12/2010
151. If It Should Come To Be 4/12/2010
152. A New Song To An Old Tune 4/12/2010
153. London Voluntaries Iv: Out Of The Poisonous East 1/1/2004
154. A Late Lark Twitters From The Quiet Skies 4/12/2010
155. A Thanksgiving 4/12/2010
156. England, My England 1/4/2003
157. A Desolate Shore 4/12/2010
158. Kate-A-Whimsies, John-A-Dream 4/12/2010
159. There's A Regret 1/3/2003
160. If I Were King 1/3/2003

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

    11 person liked.
    7 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

There's A Regret

There's a regret
So grinding, so immitigably sad,
Remorse thereby feels tolerant, even glad. ...
Do you not know it yet?

For deeds undone
Rnakle and snarl and hunger for their due,
Till there seems naught so despicable as you
In all the grin o' the sun.

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