Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;

Sigh, it is lost on the air;

The echoes bound to a joyful sound,

But shrink from voicing care.

 

Rejoice, and men will seek you;

Grieve, and they turn and go;

They want full measure of all your pleasure,

But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;

Be sad, and you lose them all,—

There are none to decline your nectared wine,

But alone you must drink life’s gall.

 

Feast, and your halls are crowded;

Fast, and the world goes by.

Succeed and give, and it helps you live,

But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure

For a large and lordly train,

But one by one we must all file on

Through the narrow aisles of pain.

 

This poem can be found in the volume, Poems of Passion.

Think about how the poem made you feel. Do you feel like you have similarly fair-weathered friends in your life – those excited to share in your rejoices on the mountain, but can’t seem to be found when you’re in the valley? Or do you simply not share your deepest struggles with those around you – burdens that you keep hidden from the world?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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