Monday Motivation: Are you the master of your fate?

Last week, I shared a short poem from The Grey that I found motivating. One of my readers responded with another thought-provoking poem. I liked it so much that I thought I’d share it with all of you.

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.

Thanks so much, Gina, for sharing this!

I ended up looking up the author of his poem, and he led quite a life. At age twelve, he contracted tuberculosis of the bone, resulting in the amputation of one of his feet when he was just seventeen. It is thought that he wrote this poem as a “demonstration of his resilience following the amputation of his foot due to tubercular infection.” He went on to publish a few volumes of poetry. He also inspired the character of Long John Silver in Treasure Island. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in a letter to Henley, “I will now make a confession. It was the sight of your maimed strength and masterfulness that begot Long John Silver…the idea of the maimed man, ruling and dreaded by the sound, was entirely taken from you.” You may read more about William Ernest Henley in this Wikipedia article.

Everyone can relate to this poem. Whatever struggle you are going through at the moment, you must always remember that YOU are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.

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