It’s one I’ve not heard until yesterday and find it hauntingly beautiful:
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.
Invictus, means “unconquered” in Latin. These evocative words found their way into the heart and mind of Nelson Mandela during his many years in prison and provided a much needed sense of inspiration and hope.
I find it encouraging to a weary soul, yet the lines, “Beyond this place of wrath and tears / Looms but the Horror of the shade” revealing of a tarnished hope. Still, it's that mark of the Divine in the human spirit -that unfathomable resilience- that intrigues me so!