The sixth Invictus Games take place for the first time in Germany from September 9 to 16 with the admirable cause of rehabilitating and aiding wounded or injured servicemen and women. The poem below, bearing the same Latin name, meaning unconquered or invincible, was written by R L Stevenson's friend W E Henley (1849-1903), after his leg was amputated. His fierce spirit of defiance has been quoted by Churchill, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela among others. LESLEY DUNCAN


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.