Has there been a set of words that changed your life?
What inspired you to move onward?
To stop feeling sorry for yourself, and fight ahead?
To free yourself, and move into unchartered territory?
That gave you the strength to believe in yourself?
That brought forth the “Do or Die” determination?
This was mine
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, born August 23, 1849, was an influential British poet, perhaps best known for his poem “Invictus” (1875). He is the author of A Song of Speed (D. Nutt, 1903), Hawthorn & Lavender with Other Verses (D. Nutt, 1901), and For England’s Sake: Verses and Songs in Time of War (D. Nutt, 1900), among others. He died in Woking, England, on July 11, 1903.