Nelson Mandela had this poem written on a piece of paper he kept during his years in the Robben Island prison. The words kept him going when his challenges seemed insurmountable. A poem about the strength of the soul that resides within each and every one of is – something I find truly inspiring.
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.
William Earnest Henley