Unconquered Indeed


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.


William Ernest Henley wrote “Invictus” which is Latin for “Unconquered” in 1875. His life was a long struggle against tuberculosis of the bone, for which he had one leg severed below the knee. His friend, Robert Louis Stevenson, based Long John Silver on Henley. He lost his daughter, Margaret, in 1894. She was 6. Her friend (and Henley’s) J.M. Barrie immortalized her in his book Peter Pan as the sickly little girl could not pronounce Barrie’s name, so she called him her “fwendy-wendy”.

I am the captain of my soul. Fuck’n a, Bill. Fuck’n A.

Published in: on May 3, 2010 at 3:38 AM  Leave a Comment  

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