A response to the conversation between Mr. Henley and Mr. Whitney. (A Poem)
|First read the two poems that I'm responding to. Though the first is pretty well known, the second is less so, and it's important to read both with mine. (Or at least, I feel so!)
By William Ernest Henley
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.
The Soul’s Captain
By Orson F. Whitney
(A reply to William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus.” … )
Art thou in truth? Then what of him
Who bought thee with his blood?
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood?
Who bore for all our fallen race
What none but him could bear—
The God who dies that man might live,
And endless glory share?
Of what avail thy vaunted strength,
Apart from his vast might?
Pray that his Light may pierce the gloom,
That thou mayest see aright.
Men are as bubbles on the wave,
As leaves upon the tree.
Thou, captain of thy soul, forsooth!
Who gave that place to thee?
Free will is thine—free agency,
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must answer unto him
To whom all souls belong.
Bend to the dust that head “unbowed,”
Small part of life’s great whole!
And see in him, and him alone,
The Captain of thy soul.
The Helmsman and The Captain:
A response to the conversation between Mr. Henley and Mr. Whitney.
By Lindsay Hodge
I am in truth the helmsman, that
directs my ship through waters blue.
The Great Cartographer has shown
The surest way to heav'n, it's true.
"God will force no man to heaven."
It's he who shows the way,
But we must choose to follow him
and promise to obey.
My Savior is my compass rose,
the stars that lead and guide.
The steering, though, he leaves to me.
It's I who must abide.
He came to earth to free my soul,
He gave me moral agency.
I came to earth to use it well,
And to endure mortality.
I am given the task to choose
A mutinous or loyal role.
I am the helmsman of my fate.
He is the captain of my soul.