Invictus (“Unconquerable” or “Invincible”Invictus), by 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 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.

 

The Soul’s Captain (an Answer to ‘Invictus’), by Orson F. Whitney

Art thou in truth?
Then what of him who bought thee with his blood?
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood?

Who bore for all our fallen race
What none but him could bear –
The God who died that man might live
And endless glory share?

Of what avail thy vaunted strength
Apart from his vast might?
Pray that his light may pierce the gloom
That thou mayest see aright.

Men are as bubbles on the wave,
As leaves upon the tree,
Thou, “captain of thy soul!” Forsooth!
Who gave that place that to thee?

Free will is thine—free agency,
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must Answer unto him
To whom all souls belong.

Bend to the dust that “head unbowed,”
Small part of life’s great whole,
And see in him and him alone,
The captain of thy soul.

 

My Captain (an Answer to ‘Invictus’), by Dorothea Day

Out of the light that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be
For Christ, the conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince or cry aloud.
Under that rule which men call chance
My head with joy is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears
That life with Him! And His the aid,
Despite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.

I have no fear; though straight the gate,
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate,
Christ is the captain of my soul.