Invictus, aka “I am the captain of my soul” [poem]

Invictus, by William Ernest Henley (1894-1903)

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 gait,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
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As a Leadership Coach at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, James Leath teaches athletes from the professional ranks all the way down to elementary school about character and leadership of self, team, coaches and critics. His widely read blog at jamesleath.com is a top resource that educates athletes, coaches, and parents in sport psychology and personal development. James is currently finishing a graduate degree in Performance Psychology.