Invictus by William Ernest Henley


This is a beautiful poem that inspired Mandela during his imprisonment.


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.


This poem inspires me because it is about freedom of the soul. No matter what challenges are put before us, we can overcome them if we have the will to do so. It is a poem of courage and conjures up strength to keep going. It's about never giving up!
Image courtesy Squidoo.com

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