solitude

FrozenGlory

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.

 
“Solitude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Public Domain

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