The poem “Invictus” (Latin for “unconquered”) was written by William Ernest Henley in 1875 from his hospital bed. It is the title of the movie directed by Clint Eastwood, looking at a defining time in Nelson Mandela’s life after the fall of apartheid in South Africa.
For a bit of inspiration heading into 2010:
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.