Hinterhof

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Stay near to me and I’ll stay near to you –
As near as you are dear to me will do,
Near as the rainbow to the rain,
The west wind to the windowpane,
As fire to the hearth, as dawn to dew.

Stay true to me and I’ll stay true to you –
As true as you are new to me will do,
New as the rainbow in the spray,
Utterly new in every way,
New in the way that what you say is true.

Stay near to me, stay true to me. I’ll stay
As near, as true to you as heart could pray.
Heart never hoped that one might be
Half of the things you are to me –
The dawn, the fire, the rainbow and the day.

-James Fenton

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Invictus

The city, sparkles.

Nelson Mandela recited Invictus (Latin for “unconquered”), the iconic poem written in 1875 by English poet William Ernest Henley, to his fellow prisoners, empowering all with its message of self-mastery.

This poem has empowered me today…to be the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.

“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.”

William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)

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