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I signed up and moved in on 9.8.98. This page is dedicated to the works of William Ernest Henley. I hope that you will enjoy his poems like I did. Last updated 9.8.98.
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A Page dedicated to W.E. Henley

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By Henley, William Ernest .

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.

Other Poems By Henley

England, My England.
By Henley, William Ernest.

What have I done for you,
England, my England?
What is there I would not do,
England, my own?
With your glorious eyes austere,
As the Lord were walking near,
Whispering terrible things and dear
As the Song on your bugles blown,
England -
Round the world on your bugles blown!

Where shall the watchful sun,
England, my England,
Match the master-work you've done,
England, my own?
When shall he rejoice agen
Such a breed of mighty men
As come forward, one to ten,
To the Song of your bugles blown,
England -
Down the years on your bugles blown?

Ever the faith endures,
England, my England: -
"Take and break us: we are yours,
England, my own!
Life is good, and joy runs high
Between English earth and sky:
Death is death; but we shall die
To the Song of your bugles blown,
England -
To the stars on your bugles blown!"

They call you proud and hard,
England, my England:
You with worlds to watch and ward,
England, my own!
You whose mailed hand keeps the keys
Of such teeming destinies,
You could know nor dread nor ease
Were the Song on your bugles blown,
Round the Pit on your bugles blown!

Mother of Ships whose might,
England, my England,
Is the fierce old Sea's delight,
England, my own,
Chosen daughter of the Lord,
Spouse-in-Chief of the ancient sword,
There's the menace of the Word
In the Song on your bugles blown,
England -
Out of heaven on your bugles blown!

Fill a Glass With Golden Wine.
By Henley, William Ernest .

Fill a glass with golden wine,
And the while your lips are wet
Set their perfume unto mine,
And forget,
Every kiss we take and give
Leaves us less of life to live.

Yet again! your whim and mine
In a happy while have met.
All your sweets to me resign,
Nor regret
That we press with every breath,
Sighed or singing, nearer de

On the Way to Kew.
By Henley, William Ernest .

On the way to Kew,
By the river old and grey,
Where in the Long Ago
We laughed and loitered so,
I met a ghost today,
A ghost that told of you -
A ghost of low replies
And sweet inscrutable eyes,
Coming up from Richmond
As you used to do.

By the river old and grey,
The enchanted Long Ago
Murmured and smiled anew.
On the way to Kew,
March had the laugh of May,
The bare boughs looked aglow,
The old immortal words
Sang in my breast like birds,
Coming up from Richmond
Coming up from Richmond
As I used with you.

With the life of Long Ago
Lived my thoughts of you.
By the river old and grey
Flowing his appointed way
As I watched I knew
What is so good to know -
Not in vain, not in vain,
Shall I look for you again
Coming up from Richmond
On the way to Kew.

A Biography

William Ernest Henley.

Date of Birth.: August 23 1849

Date of Death.: June 11 1903


English poet, playwright, critic and editor. His first major poetical work, A Book of Verses (1888), was written whilst in the Edinburgh Infirmary. He followed this with a number of volumes which estalished his reputation as an eccentric poet who used unusual words and rhymes. These included The Song of the Sword (1892), For England's Sake (1900) and In Hospital (1903).

Featured Works.

'Invictus', "Fill a Glass With Golden Wine", 'English, My England', 'On the Way to Kew', 'In Hospital Before', 'In Hospital After', 'In Hospital Staff Nurse: Old Style', 'In Hospital Staff Nurse: New Style'.

He edited the Magazine of Art (1881-86) and the New Review (1895-98), as well as helping compile a dictionary of slang (1894-04).

He also wrote four unsuccessful plays with Robert Louis Stevenson: Deacon Brodie (1818), Beau Austin (1884), Admiral Guinea (1884) and Macaire (1885).

General Comment.

William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester, the son of a bookseller. His youth was blighted by a tuberculous disease which forced doctors to amputate his foot. Whilst in hospital in Edinburgh in 1873, under the care of Dr Lister, he began to write his first poems. His series of Hospital Sketches appeared in the highly respected literary periodical Cornhill (1875). They vividly described his sufferings and were praised for their honesty and courage.

His early poetic efforts were noticed by R.L. Stevenson who became a great friend. Stevenson is believed to have used the 'piratic' Henley as a model for Long John Silver in his book 'Treasure Island'. The two men collaborated on four plays none of which were particularly successful.

Henley's reputation as a poet grew steadily with the publication of more volumes of poetry, especially in America where his work has been very well received.

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