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William Henley 1849 to 1903 suffered from tubercular arthritis from childhood and spent most of his life in great pain.  He had one of his feet amputated as a result of his illness.

He met Robert Louise Stevenson who became a close friend and described Henley as burley, boisterous and piratic. Stevenson used him as inspiration for his Long John Silver character in Treasure Island.

I love this poem so much; I leaned it by heart many years ago.

The title Invictus means 'unconquered'

Invictus William 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 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.


◄ landings

Crossroads ►


<Deleted User> (4281)

Tue 11th Mar 2008 21:11

Hello Carol

There is a lot to be said about your inspiring poem.
First of all I love you characters from your write. The Pirate story is always fascinating!
It reminds of the times when someone has invented the hooks to be able to function with an amputee arm. The hooks till today have been in use. AMAZING!!

Thank you,

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Val Cook

Tue 11th Mar 2008 20:20

I enjoyed your "Octopus" Poem Carol. Wonder what it would be like to have all those arms. I would get through the house work in no time.

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clarissa mckone

Mon 10th Mar 2008 23:22

HI Carol, its very nice poem. Did you have to learn it in school? It would be fun to dress up as a pirate and read it out loud. wonderful thanks for sharing!

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