The Captain of My Soul

With what I’m about to share with you many people feel inspired, motivated to fight against the darkness, their demons, and beat their depression.

Many people also have said that they get goosebumps for reading and/or hearing the poem called “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.

Probably you’ve heard/read or somehow know about this one as it is one of the most famous poems in the world.

But anyways I thought I might share it with you here.

It reads as follows…


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. 


It sounds inspiring right?

I mean, the idea of being our masters and controlling our fate something worthy of thought and admiration. I won’t deny that, but…

Now, to explain how I feel about this poem and give you my insight it would be better to describe it with a feeling of something we all can easily recognize.

Do you know that feeling when you are hearing a politician on TV that you cannot simple trust?

About how he will bring change for the better, and that he’d handle this or that matter differently?

Or what about that feeling when you’re hearing a sales pitch of how great this product is for you and something about it just bugs you?

Can you recognize that feeling?

Best way to describe what I felt when I read this poem is with those examples.

I feel like something is quite off, something inside bugs me that tells me not trust what have been said here.

At first, I thought that maybe I was being to hard but the thing is that I could not ignore my gut feeling about this poem.

Truth to be told, is because somehow I always knew the captain of my soul is Jesus Christ!

After doing a little research I have found that I’m not the only person that talked about this poem in this way.

I think that the message in the following link clearly depicts what I’m trying to tell you and probably in the words by another person you can understand better what I’m talking about.

After reading the notes on this webpage, I clearly understand how in this poem (line by line) the rejection of God is shown and even embraced.

By learning and reading the notes below I realize I wasn’t being that harsh against “Invictus”.


In the Poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Written in 1885, You’ll note that it is a rejection of God.

He recognizes that the world is DARK (Needs illumination).

The Darkness is world-wide (from Pole to Pole).

Rejects the ONE God. (whatever gods).

Recognizes he’s created with a soul.

He accepts circumstance (chance, destiny).

Doesn’t recognize / rejecting that God is in control.

He thinks this life is all there is,

just darkness (shade) on the other side of life.

Yet, that feeling finds him “unafraid”.

“It matters not how straight the gate”

He knows about the narrow path and the narrow gate,

but he doesn’t care (It matters not).

He knows that God’s Keeping a Record of His life.

“How charged with punishments the scroll”

And that God promises His wrath, anger and punishments

for breaking His commandments.

He’s rejecting the LORD as his final destiny.

“I am the master of my fate”

He’s rejecting the LORDSHIP of Christ.

“I am the Captain of my soul”.

One Last Thing to Mention

I don’t want to hard on people that love this poem and get inspired (or the goosebumps) to fight their depression or anxiety by getting this poem sealed in their hearts.

If it’s that you, then my best guess is that you haven’t met Jesus Christ as we Christians know him…

No hard feelings, but I hope that one day you give him (Jesus Christ) the chance to enter your life, so you can know him.

He already knows what’s best for all of us and sacrificed himself, so we can be saved… That’s why I’ve decided to made Jesus Christ the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.

One thought on “The Captain of My Soul”

  1. Lee, I am a Christian too and formerly had the same reaction to that poem. I now look at it as if Jesus wants us to know the power we have to master our fate…through him. That circumstances will not be the master of our fate or the captain of our soul.
    When Emerson published self-reliance, the Christian response was the same, as if Emerson was pushing away God-reliance for self-reliance. I have now embraced his “self-reliance” not as opposed to God-reliance, but possible because of God in our lives. And, because, God’s desire is for us to see our power in Him! Whatever Henley’s intent, his work still moves us into the strength to rise above our circumstances (which I desperately needed).

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