Invictus is a well-known poem by William Ernest Henley published in 1888. I think almost everyone knows about it. There is even a film with the same title in 2009 played by Morgan Freeman portraying the life of the legendary Nelson Mandela. In the movie, Morgan Freeman with his god-like voice, recited the Invictus poem. Few weeks ago, I found a youtube link of Morgan Freeman reciting Invictus from his memory. It was amazing! Even though he got some wrong bits here and there, but still. I don’t know, that guy has such a deep moving voice that I could not explain. Since then I recited Invictus over and over and over again until I memorised it. The more I recite, the more I could feel how stubborn the “I” character is. It has been my favourite poem to recite these past weeks.
Here is the poem:
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 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 year
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
— William Ernest Henly (1888)