To Hope

Hope only springs eternal in those who remain true to the truth, regardless of external pressures. Hope is the pilot light which ignites the passionate fires of faith, though it too can be extinguished by the turbulent winds of frantic activity when darkness is upon the face of the deep. When you face the unknown, don’t be afraid to be still and know before you act.

To Hope by John Keats

When by my solitary hearth I sit,
And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom;
When no fair dreams before my “mind’s eye” flit,
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head!

Whene’er I wander, at the fall of night,
Where woven boughs shut out the moon’s bright ray,
Should sad Despondency my musings fright,
And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away,
Peep with the moonbeams through the leafy roof,
And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof!

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!

Whene’er the fate of those I hold most dear
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow,
O bright-eyed Hope, my morbidfancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow:
Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head!

Should e’er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair;
O let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air!
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head!

In the long vista of the years to roll,
Let me not see our country’s honour fade:
O let me see our land retain her soul,
Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom’s shade.
From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed—
Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!

Let me not see the patriot’s high bequest,
Great Liberty! how great in plain attire!
With the base purple of a court oppress’d,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire:
But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings
That fill the skies with silver glitterings!

And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud;
Brightening the half veil’d face of heaven afar:
So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud,
Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed,
Waving thy silver pinions o’er my head!

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6 Responses to To Hope

  1. DeeDee says:

    Lovely!

  2. Ricardo B. says:

    I’ve often wondered what it is in people that allows for an optimistic outlook? Particularly when the going gets rough, there are not too many external cues to be found that would warrant such demeanor. And so it must be there is something else going on, some other pole that exists to orient to if we so choose. Perhaps this is the domain where Hope lives, with her silvery pinions in full majesty!

  3. Brad says:

    Each day you offer a “take away” – perhaps another piece of life’s puzzle. And sometimes it’s a perfect match for what is needed at that very moment. One of the things I love about life is the freedom to choose, to choose what we do with what life offers us. We can choose to use heed guidance or ignore it. Regardless of the pressures we may encounter today, I think this is very helpful guidance – “don’t be afraid to be still and know before you act” otherwise the “turbulent winds of frantic activity”, internally or externally, will certainly cloud the way and Hope is left to chance.

  4. Kierney says:

    Beautiful poem, thank you.

  5. Lady Leo says:

    I love Keats but I often sense his struggle with melancholy. Your words either in poetry or explanation seem to carry an evenness in this temperament. It seems your inclination is to the faithful and that I find an empowering beacon. I think a characteristic of hope is not trying to extrapolate it’s presence but to imbue it. I feel your words do that. Thank you.

  6. Zach says:

    It is so important to not get crazy and start flailing when you face the unknown. Just because the future may not be clear doesn’t mean that the outcome may not be right, and just because the outcome is not what you expect does not mean that hope is not warranted either. There should always be hope because the only constant in life is change.

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