Poetry Sunday: Invictus by William Ernest Henley

In honor of the memory of our hero, Congressman John Lewis.


by William Ernest Henley

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.


  1. Thank goodness we have all had the privilege of knowing a man like John Lewis in our lifetime. He personified courage, dignity and strength and never wavered in his commitment to social justice. The same will never be said of the current occupant of the White House. Thanks for finding this poem that fits the occasion so well, Dorothy. You do it for us every Sunday.

    1. I read that it was a favorite of his, as well as of Nelson Mandela's and I can see why it would have appealed to both of them. It personifies their indominatable spirits. John Lewis was a particular hero of mine and, as you say, we are privileged to have shared this Earth with him.

  2. That poem is a perfect tribute for a great man.

  3. RIP, John Lewis. Your work is done. Rest well. I watched the video of him crowd surfing on Stephen Cobert's show when Lewis wsa 76 years old. Greatness.

  4. Once again you found the perfect poem!


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