by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Hope is the thing with feathers
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER GER
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.

About the headline (FAQ)

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


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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 69

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.

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.

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This text was added to the website: 2018-10-14
Line count: 12
Word count: 86