INVICTUS, Poem by W.E. Henley (2 videos, 3 mins)

Portrait_of_William_Ernest_HenleyThis inspirational short poem by the Victorian poet William Henley (1849-1903) was written in 1875 when he was a young man of 26 after the amputation of one of his legs. While writing it, he was told that his other leg would have to be amputated also. As it happens, this second leg was spared. In spite of these misfortunes, the poet managed to complete and polish his 16-line poem to perfection over the next 13 years. The poem was published in 1888 when he was almost 40. Invictus (meaning ‘Unconquered’ ) is the only poem by which Henley is now remembered. (LD)

VERSION 1  :  1.08 mins

VERSION 2  :  1.50 mins

22 thoughts to “INVICTUS, Poem by W.E. Henley (2 videos, 3 mins)”

  1. like wow! awesome! the poem is like a total catalyst for Spiritually Transformative Experiences . . .



      We got a “Reader’s Digest” version… 🙂

      Thanks, Toby!

      1. Oh, you got so much more than just a Reader’s Digest Condensed version, Pat, Uncle condensed it down so much the Condensed version is in Perfect Synchronicity with your mentality, your mentality which thinks abridgement of Truth, truncating of FACTS, the distortion of history via the TWO devices, the distortion of history [ and also present day matters] thru Lies of Omission, and the distortion of history [ and also present day matters] thru Lies of Commission is “THE VERY EPITOME OF BEING TRUTHFUL”. So Rejoice, Pat, Uncle condensed my post down to such a low level even you can understand it. Heck, Uncle condensed my post so much, so far down to such a low level, even your feral nigger animal street criminal hydra-head personas/characters can understand my comment now.

    2. Reposted from Renegade Tribune

      This is a poem written in direct response to ‘Invictus’. It is a Christian poem written by the poet Dorothy Day who died in 1980:


      Out of the night that dazzles me
      Bright as the sun from pole to pole
      I thank the God I know to be
      For Christ the conqueror of my soul

      Since his the sway of circumstance,
      I would not wince nor cry aloud
      Under that rule which men call chance,
      My head with joy is humbly bowed

      Beyond this place of sin and tears
      That life with him! And his the aid
      Despite the menace of the years,
      Keeps and shall keep me unafraid

      I have no fear, though strait the gate
      He cleared from punishment the scroll
      Christ is the master of my fate
      Christ is the conqueror of my soul.

      — Dorothy Day (1897-1980)


    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.

    I like the poet expression of the second video, with greater aptness, a man within a prison cell. The poem speaks of irony, implying being imprisoned and tortured, having outward circumstances controlling his fate, yet inwardly he senses he is still in control of his future. Perhaps it is of inward fortitude that his spirit remains unbroken.

    1. Thank you LD and George for “Invictus”. My mother taught it to me when I was young, all I remembered till now was the final line.

      1. The Real Original Joe: Thank you so much for most uplifting and calming message. I love Gregorian Chants.

  3. “…This inspirational short poem by the Victorian poet William Henley (1849-1903) was written in 1875 when he was a young man of 24 after the amputation of one of his legs…”

    1875-1849 = 26 not 24.

  4. “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.”

    I cried because I had no feet until I met a man with no legs,
    then I cried because I had no legs until I met a man six feet under,
    because rats are underneath the piles and jew is underneath all.

    Back in Canadian outback, there is a Henley regatta, Hamilton ON(?), guys rowing like 10,000 hollerin’ brownhawks are after them.
    Never did check whether they were amputees but most of them had couple of arms, sometimes our gracious Queen comes to smile benignly at the poor scobs, we are all privileged to see that tight-lipped smile, coz we’d be such motherless orphans if our Queen abandoned us.

    Ah to be young and happy at the dawn of the post-colonial age again, in the True Niggerless Moozlemless North when immigrants to the man walked around with rolled up sleeves and spit on their calloused palms and when invited to the Man’s dinner table politely ate dehydrated roast beef, never refusing, smiling while rolling it in their cheeks and looking for a discreet moment to stick it under the table along with chewing gum wads.
    And Jew only owned 66.6% (2/3rds) of all the property.

  5. ‘Been there, done that’ Haven’t we all?
    If not, not to worry, pretty sure(100%) everyone’s name is on the list..
    Oh to idle amongst typhoons of woe, tsunamis of sorrow and constant cacophonies of lies and promises.
    The ages and the sages tell me so.
    (aka) this place is no place for a gentle person.

    As far as El Capitan of my own ship goes, well .. good luck to the crew, eh?

  6. This splendid poem reminds me of the miniature tale of the meeting of the prince and the sage on the road.

    A prince riding down the road passed by a sage who did not look up to salute the prince. The prince, outraged, wheeled his horse around and demanded, “Old man you did not salute me! Do you not know that I am the prince!?”

    The Sage still did not look up.

    As the horse reared, the prince angrily drew his sword and again cried out: “Old man do you not know that I, prince of this kingdom, can take your head off with but a single blow from my sword for failing to salute?”

    The sage now looked up at the enraged prince and replied: “Good prince, do you not know it is I who allows you to take my head?”


    Why Laugh My Heart?

    I reflectively waded through memories past,

    And remembered a friend

    Who once appeared in the horizon

    Of my wearied life,

    Shortly to disappear like a passing dream.

    He built a lustrous temple in my heart,

    Illumined it with candles of loyalty, love, charm,

    And artistic beauty.

    He saturated it with the perfume of his goodness:

    A perfume that permeated every nook of my heart.

    Such is my sad lot in life!

    Whenever joy visits me,

    It is inevitably rebuffed by sorrow.

    My heart aches even in the peak of gladness,

    Fully knowing it is short-lived, soon to vanish.

    What is joy but sorrow temporarily lulled?

    Surely, this sorrow will eventually cease,

    But only when I am no more!

    How can you laugh, my heart,

    When someday you and I will disintegrate in the grave?

    Not too long ago we were in the prime of youth,

    Joyously singing, while flitting from one branch to another:

    Exuding dreams, love, and bliss.

    Now, nothing left to reap save disquietude.

    Unwillingly, my heart, you departed the homeland,

    And still removing the painful thorns of misery.

    O, what a life!

    I am too embarrassed to recount.

    A brief description should suffice.

    I am hopeless, tired of this life,

    Pessimistic about this world.

    I have never been wrong about its nature,

    Nor its delusive nature will ever change

    1. A truly amazing work of the heart in which I see my own dusty reflection. I am grateful to the author for his gift to me, for only by reflection can one perceive truth in himself.

      ~ § ~

      Oh Beloved,
      take me.
      Liberate my soul.
      Fill me with your love and
      release me from the two worlds.
      If I set my heart on anything but you
      let fire burn me from inside.

      Oh Beloved,
      take away what I want.
      Take away what I do.
      Take away what I need.
      Take away everything
      that takes me from you.

      ~ Rumi

      ~ § ~


      Oh beloved, I consecrate this food, this body, this soul, to the divine purpose.
      Take me beloved,
      Take all of me,
      Leave nothing of me,
      Leave nothing but the perfect reflection of your divine, love, wisdom, and compassion,
      For the beloved is all,
      There is none but the beloved,
      It is only the beloved that I love,
      Only the beloved that I serve.

      ~ § ~

      O Beloved! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell
      and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
      But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
      grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.

      ~ Rabia Basria

  8. Uncle :

    Are you going to put up any of the posts I { sent } send you today or are you in your usual obscurantist “mood” today? Anybody ever tell you you’re a mercurial volatile moody bitch, u lugubrious moody bitch u.

    1. Joe :

      I am only too happy to publish your posts, but you must cooperate with me by making your posts publishable.

      1. I mean, even Pat thinks you’re the inmate of a mental institution. He’s not the only person who thinks that. So naturally I have a problem publishing your comments. This is a serious political site, Joe, not a forum for wild-eyed kooks from Planet Screwball! 🙂

  9. Yeah well, coming from Pat who has more personalities/characters/personas than The MEGA UBER Schizophrenic Sybil herself, he’s hardly in any position to judge anyone’s mental health status.

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