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Invictus (poem by W. Henley)

Sometimes the things in your Book of Shadows aren’t things that will come out of any book on Witchcraft. Sometimes it’s those things that are personal, that mean the most to you that are the most personal. I write poems, and sometimes collect a poem that has special meaning to me.

I talked about this back when I posted the Desiderata, early in this blog. This poem is another one that has deep meaning to me. 30 years ago, I had just turned 18 and had just completed basic training, but was in a holding pattern due to a surgery that I had to have. As I was walking through the barracks that I was assigned to, on my way to the bathroom, I saw a piece of notebook paper taped up on one of the lockers. I don’t know how long it had been there. On that paper someone had written out the poem, Invictus.



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.

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