Saturday, February 20, 2010

Inspirational Invictus

 William Ernest Henley, was a real life inspiration,
who reputedly inspired more than one not insignificant other ...

From the age of 12 Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone which resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee during either 1865 or 1868-69.According to Robert Louis Stevenson's letters, the idea for the character of Long John Silver was inspired by his real-life friend Henley. Stevenson's stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, described Henley as "..a great, glowing, massive-shouldered fellow with a big red beard and a crutch; jovial, astoundingly clever, and with a laugh that rolled like music; he had an unimaginable fire and vitality; he swept one off one's feet". 

And then ... if another man can spend 27 years in a prison cell, on an island, FORGIVE, and go on to lead his country with dignity, whether he in fact read 'Invictus' or not... Well - I think there's something in that for all of us (Chenille) don't you? ;-)

Traduction littérale
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 unbow'd.

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.

Depuis l'obscurité qui m'envahit,
Noire comme le royaume de l'enfer,
Je remercie les dieux quels qu'ils soient
Pour mon âme indomptable.

Dans l'étreinte féroce des circonstances,
Je n'ai ni bronché ni pleuré
Sous les coups de l'adversité.
Mon esprit est ensanglanté mais inflexible.

Au-delà de ce monde de colère et de larmes,
Ne se profile que l'horreur de la nuit.
Et pourtant face à la grande menace
Je me trouve et je reste sans peur.

Peu importe combien le voyage sera dur,
Et combien la liste des châtiments sera lourde,
Je suis le maître de mon destin,
Je suis le capitaine de mon âme.

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  1. I do not know much about William Ernest Henley, but you have definitely encouraged me to read more. I'm off to read through the link you posted. Thanks! :)

  2. Wait....I DO know that name. Duh! :) Where have I been today? :)

  3. Ange, you always share the most wonderful things. Thank you!
    Hope things are settling down a bit for you and that you are feeling better. Have a great Sunday!

  4. Ange, Mandela inspires and so do you. I think anyone of us can use this and run with it. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Dear Ange
    No I haven't been to see Invictus... it was just nature inspiring me.. But.. I think maybe you have!!! haha.. I hear it is a great movie.. and one I do want to see... Now.. I have not heard William Ernest Henley so will check out your link now!!! I hope you have had a wonderful weekend for of rest and renewal.. xx Julie

  6. My boyfriend recently introduced me to this poem. I can't believe I had never heard of it before. At least I can go back to him now with the added info about Long John Silver!!

  7. Oh well put, Ange! I love that poem, and for some reason I think of it in supermarkets (I have an inconquerable soul and don't need to bother with the price per kg of cheese, I tell myself). He and John Masefield both have such a rousing sweep to their lines.

  8. Very nice and makes you think; merci.

  9. Hi there Ange,
    This is now my third attempt to comment. I've forgotten what I was going to say now....oh, yes, forgiveness.
    I think that forgiveness is so important. We have to forgive many times in our lives and we need to be forgiven many times, as well. Nelson Mandela is a unique man and we must learn many lessons from him.
    Morgan Freeman is one of my favourite actors so I must see the film.
    Have a great week, Ange and look out for window cleaners !! XXXX

  10. I should paint for this poem.. And absolutely I agree with Jacgueline Nelson Mandela is a unique man and we must learn many lessons from him. It is a fantastic post. Thank you ..

  11. This post is fantastic, Ange. Invictus is one of the great, great poems, and I never knew that Stevenson (a man who certainly suffered from his own trials, too) was inspired by Henley to create Long John Silver.

    And Mandela--what a man. Few people inspire more than he does, especially with his capacity to forgive and move on to do great, great things. He is a model of love in a cynical age.

    Big hugs to you,


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!