“It matters not how strait the gate…”

Invictus – 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 fate
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.
* * *
N.B. the last stanza of this famous poem has been my motto for decades… I strongly believe that everything does happen for a reason, and I started realizing it on how I plan my days – good or/and bad… but then again: if everything DOES happen for a reason, well, it’s because we’ve made it happen… or not. 🙂

* * *
pix taken around isla Menorca… 🙂

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🙂 ma traduction ad-hoc: Invictus – William Ernest Henley

Dehors, dans la nuit noire qui me recouvre comme le puits d’un bout à l’autre, je remercie les dieux, quels qu’ils soient, pour mon esprit indomptable… Dans l’emprise d’une situation féroce, je n’ai ni bronché, ni pleuré fort, et sous les coups de matraque du destin, ma tête est en sang, mais insoumise… Au-delà de cet endroit de colère et de larmes ne se profile que l’horreur de l’ombre, et malgré tout, la menace des années me trouve et me retrouvera aussi courageux… Peu importe l’étroitesse du portail, et l’étalage lourd de punitions: je suis le maître de mon destin, je suis le capitaine de mon âme.
* * *
N.B. la dernière strophe du célèbre poème de W.E. Henley aura été ma devise depuis qqs décennies… Je crois fermement que tout nous arrive pour une raison, et j’ai commencé à en prendre conscience dans la manière d’organiser mes jours – bons et/ou mauvais… mais là encore: si tout nous advient pour une raison, eh, bien c’est parce que nous l’aurons fait nous-mêmes… ou pas. 🙂

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About Mél@nie

https://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/about/ Mélanie Bedos-Toulouse @ Facebook

Posted on 17 May 2015, in melanie. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Beautiful prose here. We are the masters of our own destiny certainly. 🙂

  2. Until I saw the movie “Invictus”, I had never heard these words, except perhaps the last line. The way they wove it into the film kept me wanting to hear more… But the fragments kept coming until the end. Great poetry is like that. Like Yeats The Second Coming one marvels at the words and the depth of the meaning… Rooted in the soul, the power of those words to have carried Mandella through all those years is testament to the writer and the reader and the power of language…

  3. Belles photos de rochers

  4. “The Master of my fate. The captain of my soul.” – Very true… 🙂

  5. I totally agree and perfect photos, Melanie.

  6. “I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE,
    I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL.”

    It took me a long time to realise that this was true, but once i did, my life changed completely — and for the better. ❤

  7. I remember we had to memorize this in early grade school. I suppose it was good practice in memorizing things, we had many: Trees poem, 23rd Psalm, Gettysburg Address, Preamble to Constitution, etc. I don’t think many of us young children had the mental capacity to integrate the thought,s but as least we know it was something important. They certainly don’t do memorization exercises in schools anymore.

  8. …and, as the Captain, one definitely has to be in charge of one’s soul, that is the crew/team/… 🙂 one’s own thoughts, ideas,feelings, perceptions, points of view and ..the lot, right?! Master them …with discipline and love, and …there you go, you’re on top of the world (or at least your own world), aren’t you?!…
    Hello, Melanie, really nice to “have met” you! and thank you for posting this poem!!! Lovely, …and so true.. (btw, ..I chose to write this comment in English because the post and the poem are in English…) 🙂
    I can’t wait for your next post!… Literally… 🙂

  9. I’ve been promising myself to print out a copy of this powerful poem for a while now and, look! There it is, right on your page! I, too, totally believe in the last stanza! Brilliant.

  10. I always wondered where that came from! I wish more of the younger generation knew they could be captains of their souls!

    • Henley’s poem is very well-known… Nelson Mandela knew it by heart and he used to recite it during his 27 years of harsh imprisonment as a political prisoner; it’s also the title of a movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

  11. I love this post… and I know we have had discussions about this topic before 🙂 Thank you for always giving me food for thought dear Melanie! Hope your Sunday is full of blessings ❤

    • yeah, indeed, and I also mentioned my other motto:”memento mori, carpe diem et gaudeamus igitur!” – remember you’ll die, live this very day and therefore, let’s enjoy it to the fullest! 😉 thanx for your friendly visit, my very best and have an optimistic week! 🙂

  12. If we make reality what happens to us, then we have to be careful about our wishes and desires 🙂

    • well, it’s up to us to make the right choices and decisions, so we do need to be careful: it’s easier and simple to avoid than to cure… 🙂

  13. we have a world of consoling to be done… these words give a lot strength and comfort.

  14. Schöne Fotos. LG. Wolfgang. Wir haben neues im Blog.

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