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    Alan Roche's last comments on poems and poets

    • POEM: Invictus by William Ernest Henley (5/21/2007 5:05:00 PM)

      There's no need for such hostility...

      'It matters not how strait the gate' is actually a bibilical reference to a quote attributed to Jesus in the King James Bible:

      'In the 1611 King James Version of Matthew 7: 13-14, following the Golden Rule, Jesus says, 'Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.''

      Henley was agnostic and was saying that in fact it _doesn't_ matter how strait the gate - you and not 'whatever gods may be' are the master of your soul and the captain of your fate.

      Personally I've never come across more beautiful or inspirational words in the English language.