Friday, February 21, 2014

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Chasing the moon, 2009
By William Ernest Henley

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.
Spring is arriving late this year to the swamps. I let all of my precious potted plants die, so I'll be starting anew with fresh everything come Spring.  Thank God for seeds.  No flowers or blooms yet, only a few brave weeds. 

 Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

1 comment:

Christy said...

Invictus is such a classic. I wonder if you have ever heard this rebuttal by Orson F. Whitney. Although they contradict, I like both poems quite a lot. This one is called "The Soul's Captain"

Art thou in truth?
Then what of Him who bought thee with His blood?
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood,
Who bore for all our fallen race
What none but Him could bear-
That God who died that man might live
And endless glory share.

Of what avail thy vaunted strength
Apart from His vast might?
Pray that His light may pierce the gloom
That thou mayest see aright.

Men are as bubbles on the wave,
As leaves upon the tree,
Thou, captain of thy soul! Forsooth,
Who gave that place to thee?
Free will is thine-free agency,
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must answer unto Him
To whom all souls belong.

Bend to the dust that ‘head unbowed, ‘
Small part of life’s great whole,
And see in Him and Him alone,
The captain of thy soul.