“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.
To make a prairie it takes
a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
I felt a funeral in my brain,
And mourners, to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
That sense was breaking through.
And when they all were seated,
A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
My mind was going numb
And then I heard them lift a box,
And creak across my soul
With those same boots of lead, again.
Then space began to toll
As all the heavens were a bell,
And being, but an ear,
And I and Silence some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here.