My Mother used to quote this poem to me when I was a child. I hadn’t heard it since, until recently, spoken by actor Morgan Freeman in the trailer to the film Invictus, while I’ve yet to see.
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 circumstances
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of change
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 year
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.