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Invictus

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"Invictus" is a short poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). It was written in 1875 and first published in 1888[1] in Henley's Book of Verses, where it was the fourth in a series of poems entitled Life and Death (Echoes).[2] It originally bore no title:[2] early printings contained only the dedication To R. T. H. B.—a reference to Robert Thomas Hamilton Bruce (1846–1899), a successful Scottish flour merchant and baker who was also a literary patron.[3] The familiar title "Invictus" (Latin for "unconquered"[4]) was added by Arthur Quiller-Couch when he included the poem in The Oxford Book Of English Verse (1900).[5][6]



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[edit] Background

At the age of 12, Henley became a victim of tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, while a teenager, the disease progressed in his foot and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate. His diseased foot was amputated directly below the knee. In spite of this, in 1867 he successfully passed the Oxford local examination as a senior student. He wrote the Invictus poem from a hospital bed in 1875. Despite his disability, he persevered and survived with one foot intact, leading an active life, and died at the age of 53.

[edit] Text

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.

[edit] Popular culture references

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Brownell, W. C. (1963). American prose masters: Cooper, Hawthorne, Emerson, Poe, Lowell, Henry James. Harvard University Press. p. 283. OCLC 271184. 
  2. ^ a b Henley, William Ernest (1888). A book of verses. London: D. Nutt. OCLC 13897970. 
  3. ^ For example in Henley, William Ernest (1891). A book of verses (3rd ed.). New York: Scribner & Welford. OCLC 1912116. http://books.google.com/books?id=pxw1AAAAMAAJ. 
  4. ^ a b "English professor Marion Hoctor: The meaning of 'Invictus'". CNN. 2001-06-11. http://archives.cnn.com/2001/LAW/06/11/mcveigh.poem.cnna/. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  5. ^ Quiller-Couch, Arthur Thomas (ed.) (1902). The Oxford book of English verse, 1250–1900 (1st (6th impression) ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 1019. OCLC 3737413. http://books.google.com/books?id=94f-EePsaT0C. 
  6. ^ Wilson, A.N. (2001-06-11). "World of books". Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/4262920/World-of-books.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  7. ^ Invictus at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ "News and You: The Soul's Captain". Meridian Magazine. 13 June 2001. http://www.meridianmagazine.com/newsandyou/010613.html. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  9. ^ Rita Cosby (2001-06-12). "Timothy McVeigh Put to Death for Oklahoma City Bombings". Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,26904,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
Categories: 1875 poems

Coldplay
Viva La Vida lyrics

Songwriters: Berryman, Guy Rupert; Buckland, Jonathan Mark; Champion, Will; Martin, Christopher A J

Coldplay — Viva La Vida lyrics

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in.
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Tags: 2009, 2010
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