Poetry: Solitude

I did­n’t know the ori­gin of “laugh and the world laughs with you” ’til I saw this poem in my inbox today. I don’t share Wilcox’s beliefs, but it’s a fair­ly good poem.

Soli­tude
by Ella Wheel­er Wilcox (1850–1919)

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.
For 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.

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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