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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.
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- by William Ernest Henley (1849 - 1903), "Invictus", appears in A Book of Verses, first published 1888 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Vivian Fine (1913 - 2000), "Invictus", 1991 [ voice and piano ], from 4 Victorian Songs, no. 3 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Vivian Fine (1913 - 2000), "Invictus", 1988, first performed 1988 [ soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello ], from 5 Victorian Songs, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Bruno Siegfried Huhn (1871 - 1950), "Invictus", published 1910 [ voice and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Marshall Rutgers Kernochan (1880 - 1955), "Unconquered", published 1911 [ voice and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Francis Alexander Korbay (1846 - 1913), "Out of the night", <<1913, from Album of Five Songs [sung text not yet checked]
- by Charles Albert Lidgey (d. 1924), "Out of the night", published 1909, from A Song of Life [sung text not yet checked]
- by Carl F. Mueller (1892 - 1982), "Invictus", published 1950 [ satb chorus a cappella ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Martin Edward Fallas Shaw (1875 - 1958), "Invictus", published 1920 [ voice and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Invictus (Unbezwungen)", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Richard Flatter) , "Der Herr und Meister", appears in Die Fähre, Englische Lyrik aus fünf Jahrhunderten, first published 1936
Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller
This text was added to the website: 2005-07-25
Line count: 16
Word count: 103
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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- a text in English by William Ernest Henley (1849 - 1903), "Invictus", appears in A Book of Verses, first published 1888
This text was added to the website: 2008-06-01
Line count: 16
Word count: 96