The LiederNet Archive
WARNING. Not all the material on this website is in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net

Hope is the thing with feathers

Language: English

Hope is [the]1 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.

Translation(s): FRE GER GER

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Syderman: "a"; further changes may exist not noted.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:26
Line count: 12
Word count: 69

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust

L'Espoirest la chose avec des plumes

Language: French (Français) after the English

« L'Espoir » est la chose avec des plumes --
Qui est perchée dans l'âme --
Et chante l'air sans les paroles --
Et ne s'arrête jamais -- jamais --

Et le plus doucement -- dans les Coups de vents -- on l'entend --
Et cruelle devrait être la tempête --
Qui pourrait rendre confus le petit Oiseau
Qui a gardé tant de personnes au chaud --

Je l'ai entendu dans le pays le plus froid --
Et sur la Mer la plus étrange --
Pourtant -- jamais -- rendu à toute Extrémité,
Il n'a demandé une miette -- à moi.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Hope" = "Espoir"
"Hope is a thing with feathers" = "L'Espoir est une chose avec des plumes"
"Hope is the thing with feathers" = "L'Espoir est la chose avec des plumes"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2018 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in English by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems by Emily Dickinson, first published 1891 GER GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Leonard Berkowitz, Gordon Ware Binkerd, Otto Luening, Ben Moore, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Robert Starer, William Sydeman. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2018-10-14.
Last modified: 2018-10-14 09:01:12
Line count: 12
Word count: 86