“Solitude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Solitude

LAUGH, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone.

For the sad old earth must borrow it’s mirth,

But has trouble enough of it’s 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 long and lordly train,

But one by one we must all file on

Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on ““Solitude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  1. klynwurth May 18, 2012 / 9:12 am

    As many do, I remembered the first line, but hadn’t read the whole thing. I sure couldn’t have named the poet. Thanks for posting! I hope you do have at least one friend who doesn’t run away when things get rough. We each need one of those…

  2. Nicole O May 18, 2012 / 12:46 pm

    I found the poem in a 101 Favorite Poems anthology I got at a bookstore that was going out of business, so it’s very much a lucky find. I’ve read a lot of poems but none have moved me as much as this one.

    And thank you! I hope you have one of those people in your life too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s