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.
ABOU BEN ADAMS
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And saw, within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, An angel writing in a book of gold:— Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, And to the Presence in the room he said "What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head, And with a look made of all sweet accord, Answered "The names of those who love the Lord." "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so," Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low, But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then, Write me as one that loves his fellow men."
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again with a great wakening light, And showed the names whom love of God had blessed, And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.