Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a poet whose volume of writing remained hidden until after her death, said:
"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.
Dickinson sees endurance and selflessness embodied in hope.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon gave a sermon on November 13, 1859 concerning suffering that included these significant words:
"And dost thou no know that Hope itself is like a star--not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity."
The anonymous author of the Biblical letter to the Hebrews gives perhaps the most common image of hope--an anchor--while discoursing on the certainty of God's promise:
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." (Hebrews 6:19a, NIV)