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quotations about hope

Hope is the beacon which points to prosperity.

Extreme hopes are born of extreme misery.

BERTRAND RUSSELL, Unpopular Essays

Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.

G. K. CHESTERTON, Heretics

Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords: but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain; and expectations improperly indulged must end in disappointment.

SAMUEL JOHNSON, Letter, Jun. 8, 1762

Better hope deferred than none.


The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes -- or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two -- is gone.

EDWARD FITZGERALD, Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Hope is the spur of life.


Hope -- Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.

BARACK OBAMA, speech, 2004 DNC Convention

We all hope. It's what keeps us alive.

DAVID MAMET, Speed-the-Plow

Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.


We postpone the finality of heartbreak by clinging to hope. Though this might be acceptable during early or transitional stages of grief, ultimately it is no way to live. We need both hands free to embrace life and accept love, and that's impossible if one hand has a death grip on the past.

KRISTIN ARMSTRONG, O Magazine, Feb. 2007

He that lives upon hope will die fasting.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanac

He who has never hoped can never despair.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Caesar and Cleopatra

Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And hope without an object cannot live.


You know nothing about Hope, that immortal, delicious maiden forever courted forever propitious, whom fools have called deceitful, as if it were Hope that carried the cup of disappointment, whereas it is her deadly enemy, Certainty, whom she only escapes by transformation.

GEORGE ELIOT, Daniel Deronda

I think it's a mistake to ever look for hope outside of one's self.

ARTHUR MILLER, After the Fall

Hope is tenacious. It goes on living and working when science has dealt it what should be its deathblow.

PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR, The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories

Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.


Hope, whose whisper would have given
Balm to all my frenzied pain,
Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven,
Went, and ne'er returned again!


I still believe in a place called Hope, a place called America.

BILL CLINTON, speech at Democratic National Convention, August 29, 1996

Hope was a dangerous emotion that more often than not led men into foolishness and peril, made them risk their lives and lose their wives and part with fortunes that they never recovered.


Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young women and young men to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom's cause. Hope is what led me here today--with a father from Kenya, a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have courage to remake the world as it should be.

BARACK OBAMA, speech, Jan. 3, 2008

To the last moment of his breath
On hope the wretch relies;
And e'en the pang preceding death
Bids expectation rise.

Hope, like the gleaming taper's light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night,
Emits a brighter ray.


Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.

EMILY DICKINSON, "Hope is the thing with feathers"

Take hope from the heart of man, and you make him a beast of prey.

OUIDA, A Village Commune

Expectancy speeds progress. Therefore, live in a continual state of expectancy. No matter how much good you are experiencing today, expect greater good tomorrow. Expect to meet new friends. Expect to meet new and wonderful experiences. Try this magic of expectancy and you will soon discover a dramatic side to your work which gives full vent to constructive feeling.

ERNEST HOLMES, This Thing Called You

The word which God has written on the brow of every man is Hope.

VICTOR HUGO, Les Misérables

Hope quote

Hope is what keeps you going, but hope keeps you focused on the future, and this continued focus perpetuates your denial of the Now and therefore your unhappiness.

ECKHARD TOLLE, The Power of Now

One hope no sooner dies in us but another rises up in its stead. We are apt to fancy that we shall be happy and satisfied if we possess ourselves of such and such particular enjoyments; but either by reason of their emptiness, or the natural inquietude of the mind, we have no sooner gained one point, but we extend our hopes to another. We still find new inviting scenes and landscapes lying behind those which at a distance terminated our view.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Nov. 13, 1712

But what is hope? Nothing but the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of truth rubs it off, and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we have got hold of.

LORD BYRON, letter, Oct. 28, 1815

How can hope be false when it is as much a part of the human experience as birth or death?

LORI HOPE, Help Me Live

We can have hope even while maintaining a negative--or sometimes simply realistic--attitude. For instance, if you're dying of cancer, you can still hope for pain relief. If you have a difficult-to-treat cancer, you can still hope for new treatments.

LORI HOPE, Help Me Live

In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man.


With thee, sweet Hope! resides the heav'nly light,
That pours remotest rapture on the sight:
Thine is the charm of life's bewilder'd way,
That calls each slumb'ring passion into play:
Wak'd by thy touch, I see the sister band,
On tiptoe watching, start at thy command,
And fly where'er thy mandate bids them steer,
To Pleasure's path, or Glory's bright career.

THOMAS CAMPBELL, The Pleasures of Hope

Hope is sweet-minded and sweet-eyed. It draws pictures; it weaves fancies; it fills the future with delight.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Do not invest your whole life in one hope.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

False hopes are more dangerous than fears.

J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Children of Hurin

There is nothing so well known as that we should not expect something for nothing, but we all do, and call it hope.

EDGAR WATSON HOWE, Country Town Sayings

Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.

MIGNON MCLAUGHLIN, The Neurotic's Notebook

Hope is a horrible thing, you know. I don't know who decided to package hope as a virtue because it's not. It's a plague. Hope is like walking around with a fishhook in your mouth and somebody just keeps pulling it and pulling it.

ANN PATCHETT, State of Wonder

Hope quote

A man begins to die when he ceases to expect anything from Tomorrow.

ABRAHAM MILLER, Unmoral Maxims

Hope, the magician, charms the distant prospect,
And fancy pictures all the world as good!

C. B. LANGSTON, "Youth"

Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.

G. K. CHESTERTON, Heretics

Sometimes at dusk, when you were trying to relax and not think of the general stagnation, the Garbage God would gather a handful of those choked-off morning hopes and dangle them somewhere just out of reach; they would hang in the breeze and make a sound like delicate glass bells, reminding you of something you never quite got hold of, and never would.


Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us ... It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.


There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.


Great hope has no real footing unless one is willing to face into the doom that may also be on the way.


Hope is the beacon which points to prosperity.


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