In reading a book of English/Irish poetry I came across “Invictus,” by William Ernest Henley. It is an intriguing poem depicting the resolve of mankind to fight and win his own fate. And while it is true that we are responsible for our own thoughts and actions, as Solomon says, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD. (Pr 21:31)” With that in mind, I made a few revisions to Henley’s account to better reflect the course of human history:
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 cicumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bldugeonings 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 meance 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.
I’m in the night that covers me,
Black as the pit my nat’ral pole,
I thank my self-corruptor: me,
For my dead and sinful soul.
In the pangs of sin and death, glance
Not I to God nor cry aloud.
Under the curse of sin’s advance
My will is battered and unbowed.
But to the cross of wrath and blood
The LORD himself went in my place,
And through the preaching of the word
I can receive his loving grace.
When then I’m caught up to his gate,
I’ll say to him who reads the scroll:
You are the master of my fate;
You are the captain of my soul.