filled with gifted wisdom
guides me to you.
I cannot recall what led me to William Ernest Henley’s poem, but when I read it, I copied his guiding words, considered what led him to write the prose, and adapted his sentiments to my own life.
Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about…
Was I introduced to this poem in my youth? Did Philemon Hensel require us to read the poem in twelfth grade literature? I don’t recall. If he did, I was not prepared to appreciate or understand.
Today I share the poem here, elixir for your unconquerable soul.
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 unbow’d.
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.