A summer morning. The Sun is shining with its whole power today. Everyone in the group is feeling tired, thirsty. It’s been so long, since the morning they are working in this place, digging the rocks, to build the road. They are all, prisoners. Robben Island has so many prisoners here.
But, everyone is not the same. Among all the prisoners, there is a man, who dreams of freedom. Yes, he still has the hope of escaping from here, and to make the nation a free one.
After the day’s end, when everybody goes to sleep, he comes to the window of his cell. He keeps gazing at this prison, and dreams the day when he would be out of this.
His treasure is an iron like determination. But, sometimes he too feels hopeless. He wants some source of courage. Then, he comes to his bed, sits there, and takes his notebook from the bedside table. There is written a poem, he likes most. He starts reciting it,
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.
He pauses for a while, and turns around. His fellow friends in that cell wake up from their sleep. They join him. He continues,
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Someone asked him, would it be true, friend? If we would be free, one day? He smiled, and replied, “Yes, if you believe in your dream, and trust in yourself. First of all, we have to overcome our fear.”
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.
He puts the notebook on the table, and comes to the window again. The night sky is looking beautiful. Dark, but this darkness is the messenger of the splendid morning. He gleamed with hope, and utters those word with his utmost determination. These words are his breath of life.
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.