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.
Friends that have gone before me
Taught and led me in many ways;
Sufferings shared, friendship free,
Eyes that spoke through tobacco haze.
In the full clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Pain is pain, and we know its wrath,
But finite in it’s wanderings
(Voices whisper, “careful in the bath”)
Also in cleaning; especially in laundering.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms the horror of the shade
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
And ahead, coming slowly, the unknown
Final answer to an un-asked question;
Like the toppling of the over grown
Comes the answer to our indiscretion.
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.