Invictus

by 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 or cried out loud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody but unbow’d.

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 punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
    I am the captain of my soul.

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One Response to “Invictus”

  1. SteveC Says:

    The Quest
    by Rudyard Kipling

    The Knight came home from the quest,
    Muddied and sore he came.
    Battered of shield and crest,
    Bannerless, bruised and lame.
    Fighting we take no shame,
    Better is man for a fall.
    Merrily borne, the bugle-horn
    Answered the warder’s call:—
    ‘Here is my lance to mend (Haro!),
    Here is my horse to be shot!
    Ay, they were strong, and the fight was long;
    But I paid as good as I got!’

    ‘Oh, dark and deep their van
    That mocked my battle-cry.
    I could not miss my man,
    But I could not carry by:
    Utterly whelmed was I,
    Flung under, horse and all.’
    Merrily borne, the bugle-horn
    Answered the warder’s call!

    ‘My wounds are noised abroad;
    But theirs my foemen cloaked.
    Ye see my broken sword—
    But never the blades she broke;
    Paying them stroke for stroke,
    Good handsel over all.’
    Merrily borne, the bugle-horn
    Answered the warder’s call!

    ‘My shame ye count and know.
    Ye say the quest is vain.
    Ye have not seen my foe.
    Ye have not told his slain;
    But when ye prove his line,
    There shall come to your aid my broken blade
    In the last, lost fight of mine!
    And Here is my lance to mend (Haro!),
    And here is my horse to be shot!
    Ay, they were strong, and the fight was long;
    But I paid as good as I got!’

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