|William Ernest Henley|
Nelson Mandela was born in South Africa during apartheid, the unjust separation of white people and black people, and he was imprisoned for standing up for what he believed. Despite that, he did not give up, and in fact went on to become the President of South Africa. The first black president in fact. And the poem Invictus was one of the things that inspired him never to give up.
It is a lovely poem, and if you have not heard Invictus read by Morgan Freeman, I highly recommend it.
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 straight the gate,
how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.