by William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)
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.
When my daughter read this poem to me, I was moved and identified with each and every word of the poem. I had never heard of the poet or of the occasion when this poem was written but somehow felt as if people all over the world, transcending all barriers of time and place, speak the same language, especially when they are fighting against circumstances out to destroy them. They go through the same stages of persecution, pain and torture but have the proud feeling of not compromising with the unjust! And remain invincible to the end.
Thanks Nishant for sending this poem across.