Out of the night that covers me,Black as the pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may beFor my unconquerable soul.In the fell clutch of circumstanceI have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chanceMy head is bloody, but unbowed.Beyond this place of wrath and tearsLooms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the yearsFinds 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.
This is one of my favorite poems. I learned it in middle school – the first poem I actively remember having to memorize and recite aloud. I never realized the importance of this poem for so many people until I got to college. It has a whole new meaning – or perhaps interpretation – for different sets of people.