Poem: 'Invictus' Poem: 'Invictus'

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jorge Salazar reacts to scoring a point in the gold medal wheelchair rugby match during the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Fla. May 11, 2016.

(Edward J. Hersom II/DoD photo)

"Invictus" is a poem by William Ernest Henley, who was born in Gloucester, England in 1849. He lost one of his legs to a childhood illness, and wrote these verses, published in 1875, while recovering at an infirmary.

Watch the video: Athletes from the Invictus Games for veterans recite the poem.

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.

Learn More at the Poetry Foundation