Thursday, December 5, 2013

This Great Architect

Copyright held by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory **
This Great Architect.

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.

* Invictus is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). While incarcerated on Robben Island prison, Nelson Mandela recited the poem to other prisoners and was empowered by its message of self-mastery. In the movie Invictus, Mandela gives the captain of the national South African rugby team the poem to inspire him to lead his team to a Rugby World Cup win, telling him how it inspired him in prison. (Source: Wikipedia, En + Fr)

** This page consists of a brief, one-sentence note, written by Mandela.