Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Invictus

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.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


William Ernest Henley

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.

Date Published: 1888-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/invictus