Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I made a new friend on Sunday. This friend has a name from the Bible. That book is referenced everywhere. If nothing else, it is a literary gem.

This friend told me to go home and look up a poem by William Ernest Henley. Heeding to the request, I read the following,

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 bludgeoning 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.

I think this will be worth seeing.


The Good Wife said...

i like this....
you know who else is worth seeing

Bill from Jersey said...

The last line reminds me of Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain."

the mom said...

what do you think of this one?

Response to Invictus

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,
The 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 Aunbowed,@
Small part of Life=s great whole!
And see in him, and him alone,
The Captain of thy soul.

~Orson F. Whitney
(Improvement Era, April 1926, 611)

we miss your cute face.

anne.elizabeth said...

I like that poem as well. I think both poems come to the same conclusion.

Contrary to popular belief, for me Invictus is not atheistic in view. I find it to be real and full of faith. It shows understanding that there is someone out there in the darkness that has provided me with an "unconquerable soul" and without that entity, I would not be and would not be able to do good in the world.

I don't know whether Henley was an Atheist but I'm not worried. His words are hopeful and in search of joy and I appreciate that.