“Invictus” is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley . It was written in 1875 and first published in 1888 in Henley’s Book of Verses.

Later based on this poem John Carlin wrote a novel named “Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation”. Later Clint Eastwood directed a film based on the novel which released in 2009 named “Invictus“. The whole story is based on the events of South Africa during the 1995 Rugby World Cup which was hosted by the same country.

The little poem goes like this:

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.

It’s a good reminder of how no matter how broken you might feel – there’s something rather solid inside you which can survive pain, grief and even death.

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