Wednesday, July 08, 2015

"Invictus" - A Faithwards Transposition of an Old Poem

Here's a bit of verse I wrote back in my college days. It takes the famous poem by William Ernest Henley and transposes it into a key of biblical faith. First you have the original form, "Invictus," and then my attempt at a poetical transposition, "Confiteor."


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 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.

-     William Ernest Henley


Out of the night that covered me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole;

I thank the God who rescued me,

For He restored my shattered soul.

In the fell clutch of sinful pride

Oh, I have winced and cried aloud.

Crushed by these blows I can’t survive;

My head is bloody; and I bow.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Breaks the dawn of Glorious Day.

In promise of those rolling years

I shall press on now, unafraid.

He leads me through the Narrow Gate

And His righteousness marks my scroll,

He is the Master of my fate:

He is the Captain of my soul.

-          Matthew Burden