William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

William Ernest Henley Poems

121. Staff Nurse: New Style 4/12/2010
122. Staff Nurse:Old Style 4/12/2010
123. Suicide 4/12/2010
124. The Chief 4/12/2010
125. The Full Sea Rolls And Thunders 4/12/2010
126. The Gods Are Dead 4/12/2010
127. The Nightingale Has A Lyre Of Gold 4/12/2010
128. The Past Was Goodly Once 4/12/2010
129. The Rain And The Wind 1/3/2003
130. The Sands Are Alive With Sunshine 4/12/2010
131. The Sea Is Full Of Wandering Foam 4/12/2010
132. The Shadow Of Dawn 4/12/2010
133. The Skies Are Strown With Stars 4/12/2010
134. The Song Of The Sword--To Rudyard Kipling 4/12/2010
135. The Spirit Of Wine 4/12/2010
136. The Spring, My Dear 4/12/2010
137. The Surges Gushed And Sounded 4/12/2010
138. The Wan Sun Westers, Faint And Slow 4/12/2010
139. The Ways Are Green 4/12/2010
140. The Ways Of Death Are Soothing And Serene 4/12/2010
141. The West A Glimmering Lake Of Light 4/12/2010
142. There Is A Wheel Inside My Head 4/12/2010
143. There's A Regret 1/3/2003
144. Thick Is The Darkness 4/12/2010
145. Time And The Earth 4/12/2010
146. To Me At My Fifth-Floor Window 4/12/2010
147. To My Mother 4/12/2010
148. To My Wife 4/12/2010
149. To: W A 4/12/2010
150. Tree, Old Tree Of The Triple Crook 4/12/2010
151. Trees And The Menace Of Night 4/12/2010
152. Unconquerable 4/12/2010
153. Under A Stagnant Sky 4/12/2010
154. Vigil 4/12/2010
155. Villanelle 4/12/2010
156. Villon's Straight Tip To All Cross Coves 1/1/2004
157. Visitor 4/12/2010
158. Waiting 4/12/2010
159. We Are The Choice Of The Will 4/12/2010
160. We Flash Across The Level 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

    10 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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