The poem Invictus is a very pensive poem written by William Ernest Henley. In the first stanza he writes "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." The speaker of this poem is surrounded by black, meaning both the midnight around him and the darkness in his life. And although there is much sadness in his soul, he has not been beaten. Which is proved by the line, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul. The speaker is unsure about gods and higher entities, but to whatever they may be, he is thankful to them.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeoning of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. In this stanza the speaker says that he has been through many hardships, but has still not given up. He has been through many tough times and although he has been beaten up by the harshness of life, he is still standing.
In the third stanza which states, "Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years Find, and shall find, me unafraid." This means that life has brought him, and will continue to bring many years filled with horror and all shades of unhappiness, but as he goes through all of those times, those viscous years will find him unafraid.
In the last stanza, "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." The speaker is stating that what ever life throws at him, he is the one to choose how he is going to respond, therefore making him the master of his fate, the captain of his soul. He is the one who chooses his own destiny; it's not his fate that controls him. Instead of choosing to run the race of life, or boo from the sidelines, the speaker chooses to run the other way, in any direction he wants.