by William Ernest Henley (1849 - 1903)
Translation © by Walter A. Aue

Out of the night that covers me
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
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.

About the headline (FAQ)


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

This text was added to the website: 2005-07-25
Line count: 16
Word count: 103

Invictus (Unbezwungen)
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Aus dieser Nacht, die mich umhüllt,
von Pol zu Pol schwarz wie das Grab,
dank ich welch immer Gottes Bild
die unbezwung'ne Seel mir gab.

Wenn grausam war des Lebens Fahrt,
habt ihr nie zucken, schrein mich sehn!
Des Schicksals Knüppel schlug mich hart -
mein blut'ger Kopf blieb aufrecht stehn!

Ob zornerfüllt, ob tränenvoll,
ob Jenseitsschrecken schon begann:
das Grauen meines Alters soll
mich furchtlos finden, jetzt und dann.

Was kümmert's, daß der Himmel fern
und daß von Straf' mein Buch erzähl',
ICH bin der Herr von meinem Stern,
ICH bin der Meister meiner Seel'! 


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2008 by Walter A. Aue, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

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This text was added to the website: 2008-06-01
Line count: 16
Word count: 96