I know that this is a movie coming out about Nelson Mandela's life but the actual poem by William Henley, written from his hospital bed after his leg was amputated below the knee has always been a favorite of mine. The minister read it at my dad's funeral because it personified the way he lived his life.
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.