Friday, December 19, 2008

The Churchill Series - Dec. 19, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Churchill said that as a boy there were some things about school he liked. They included memorizing “lots of Poetry by heart.”

When well into his late eighties, Churchill could still recite poems he'd learned as a boy. Invictus, by William Ernest Henley, was one of his favorites. The poem stirred him, he told people, and gave him strength in trying times.

The following version is taken from Louis Untermeyer’s Modern British Poetry.

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.

I hope you all have a good weekend.