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Short poem

William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)

I. M. R.T. Hamilton Bruce (1846-1899) [Invictus]

              1 Out of the night that covers me,
              2    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
              3I thank whatever gods may be
              4    For my unconquerable soul.

              5In the fell clutch of circumstance
              6    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
              7Under the bludgeonings of chance
              8    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

              9Beyond this place of wrath and tears
            10    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
            11And yet the menace of the years
            12    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

            13It matters not how strait the gate,
            14    How charged with punishments the scroll,
            15I am the master of my fate:
            16    I am the captain of my soul.


1] The title means "In Memory [of] R. T. Hamilton Bruce."

Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: William Ernest Henley, Poems (London: Macmillan and Co., 1920): 83-84. PR 4783 A36 1921 Robarts Library
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 4:2002/4/24*1:2004/11/7

Composition date: 1875
Form: Long Hymnal Measure
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by William Ernest Henley