![[Header#^header-embed]] > [!SUMMARY] > "Fate's Fiddler" is a poem by [Edgar Albert Guest](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_A._Guest), and is about the importance of living life to the fullest and not letting the opinions of others weigh you down. The speaker encourages the reader to dance to the tune of life, even when things are tough. > > The line of the verse, _"(Even Johnson had his Thrale!)"_ is a reference to the friendship between [[Dr. Samuel Johnson]] and [[Hester Thrale née Salusbury|Hester Thrale]] refers to friendship which was unconventional, but deep and meaningful, and is intended to show that love and companionship can be found in unexpected places and it is important to break free from social conventions and follow your heart. > [!QUOTE] Invictus by [William Ernest Henley](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ernest_Henley), 1875 > > Fools may pine, and sots may swill, Cynics gibe, and prophets rail, Moralists may scourge and drill, Preachers prose, and fainthearts quail. Let them whine, or threat, or wail! Till the touch of Circumstance Down to darkness sink the scale, Fate's a fiddler, Life's a dance. > > > What if skies be wan and chill? What if winds be harsh and stale? Presently the east will thrill, And the sad and shrunken sail, Bellying with a kindly gale, Bear you sunwards, while your chance Sends you back the hopeful hail:- 'Fate's a fiddler, Life's a dance.' > > > Idle shot or coming bill, Hapless love or broken bail, Gulp it (never chew your pill!), And, if Burgundy should fail, Try the humbler pot of ale! Over all is heaven's expanse. Gold's to find among the shale. Fate's a fiddler, Life's a dance. > > > Dull Sir Joskin sleeps his fill, Good Sir Galahad seeks the Grail, Proud Sir Pertinax flaunts his frill, Hard Sir Æger dints his mail; And the while by hill and dale Tristram's braveries gleam and glance, And his blithe horn tells its tale:- 'Fate's a fiddler, Life's a dance.' > > > grand and shrill, Delia's passionate and frail, Doris drives an earnest quill, Athanasia takes the veil: Wiser Phyllis o'er her pail, At the heart of all romance Reading, sings to Strephon's flail:- 'Fate's a fiddler, Life's a dance.' > > > Every Jack must have his Jill (Even Johnson had his Thrale!): Forward, couples - with a will! This, the world, is not a jail. Hear the music, sprat and whale! Hands across, retire, advance! Though the doomsman's on your trail, Fate's a fiddler, Life's a dance. > > > Envoy Boys and girls, at slug and snail And their kindred look askance. Pay your footing on the nail: Fate's a fiddler, Life's a dance. ## See also ![[hester-lynch-thrale-1741-1821🔎#^hester-lynch-thrale-infoblock]]![[samuel-johnson-1709-1784🔎#^samuel-johnson-infoblock]] #history/person/SALUSBURY/hester-lynch-born-1741 #history/person/JOHNSON/samuel-born-1709 ![[Footer#^footer-embed]]