Poetic Variations on the Theme of Hope
PublishedMay 6, 2012 CategoryPoems of Engagement

Poetic Variations on the Theme of Hope

What draws the poet like the bee to honey?
What springs eternal in the human breast?
What’s good for breakfast but is bad for supper?
What, with myopic view and trust, is best?

What travels swift, and flies with swallow’s wings?
May triumph over what experience teaches?
Once in a lifetime may with history rhyme?
Make gods of kings and kings of meaner creatures?

What’s better travelled with than in arriving?
What was both yours and mine, of equal worth?
What, if they’re dupes, may turn our fears to liars?
Of what was freedom last and best of earth?

What did the happy night-bird seem to know
With me so unaware? And what creates
Through love and patience, and against all what,
That impossible thing it dares to contemplate?

‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast’.

Alexander Pope

‘Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper’

Francis Bacon

‘Take short views, hope for the best, and trust in God‘

Sidney Smith

True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings;
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings


‘The triumph of hope over experience’

Samuel Johnson

‘But then, once in a lifetime, The longed for tidal wave Of justice can rise up, And hope and history rhyme

Seamus Heaney

‘To travel hopefully is better than to arrive, and the true success is to labour’

Robert L Stevenson

Whatever hope is yours
Was my life also…

Wilfred Owen

‘If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars…’

Arthur Hugh Clough

‘In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the Free… the last, best hope of earth’

Abraham Lincoln

There trembled through his happy good-night air,
Some blessed Hope of which he knew
And I was unaware…

Thomas Hardy (The Darkling Thrush)

To love, and bear; to hope till hope creates,
the thing it contemplates…

Percy B Shelley

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