“Hope” is the thing with feathers—

“Hope” is the thing with feathers — 

That perches in the soul — 

And sings the tune without the words —

And never stops — at all —

 

And sweetest — in the Gale — is heard — 

And sore must be the storm —

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm —

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land — 

And on the strangest Sea —

Yet — never — in Extremity,

It asked a crumb — of Me.

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from THE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON: VARIORUM EDITION, edited by Ralph W. Franklin, Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.