English around us

A world of words



Invictus” , Latin word for “unconquered” , is a short Victorian poem by the English poet 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.

In the film Invictus, the captain of the national South African rugby team visits the cell where Mandela was for 27 years and there he hears his voice reading the poem which inspired him in  prison and helped him not give up. (Read by Morgan Freeman)


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This entry was posted on 06/12/2013 by in People, Poetry.
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