When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd, Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented least; Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on thee, and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate; For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
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 test of a man is the fight that he makes, the grit that he daily shows; the way that he stands on his feet and takes fate's numerous bumps and blows. A coward can smile when there's naught to fear and nothing his progress bars, but it takes a man to stand up and cheer when the other fellow stars. It isn't the victory after all, but the fight that a brother makes. The man who, driven against the wall, still stands erect and takes the blows of fate with his head held high, bleeding and bruised and pale. He's the man who'll win in the by and by, for he isn't afraid to fail. It's the bumps you get and the shocks, you get and the jolts that your courage stands; the hours of sorrow and vain regrets, the prize that escapes your hand that tests your metal and proves your worth. It isn't the blows that you deal, it's the blows you take on this good old earth that show if your stuff is real.