Is the way hard and thorny, oh, my brother?
Do tempests beat, and adverse wild winds blow?
And are you spent, and broken at each nightfall,
Yet with each morn you rise and onward go?
Brother, I know, I know !
I, too, have journeyed so.
I your heart mad with longing, oh, my sister?
Are all great passions in your breast aglow?
Does the white wonder of your own soul blind you,
And are you torn with rapture and with woe?
Sister, I know, I know!
I, too, have suffered so.
Is the road filled with snare and quicksand, pilgrim?
Do pitfalls lie where roses seem to grow?
And have you sometimes stumbled in the darkness,
And are you bruised and scarred by many a blow?
Pilgrim, I know, I know !
I, too, have stumbled so.
Do you send out rebellious cry and question,
As mocking hours pass silently and slow,
Does your insistent "wherefore" bring no answer,
While stars wax pale with watching, and droop low?
I, too, have questioned so,
But now I know, I know !
To toil, to strive, to err, to cry, to grow,
To love through all -- this is the way to know.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you ; Weep and you weep alone,” are lines that have been travestied in vaudville theatres and quoted with impressive effect in the halls of legistation. yet it is safe to surmise that the great majority of those who know them have not lately read the lines that make up the rest of the poem.
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 nectar'd 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.
In latter years much of her work was done for the publications of Mr. William R. Hearst, chiefly as a regular contributor to the New York “Evening Journal.” It was while in this employ that she wrote her well-remembered lines on Queen Victoria's funeral.
THE QUEEN'S LAST RIDE
(Written on the day of Queen Victoria's funeral)
The Queen is taking a drive to-day:
They have hung with purple the carriage-way,
They have dressed with purple the royal track
Where the Queen goes forth and never comes back.
Let no man labour as she goes by
On her last appearance to mortal eye;
With heads uncovered let all men wait
For the Queen to pass, in her regal state.
Army and Navy shall lead the way
For that wonderful coach of the Queen's to-day.
Kings and Princes and Lords of the land
Shall ride behind her, a humble band;
And over the city and over the world
Shall the flags of all Nations be half-mast-furled,
For the silent lady of royal birth
Who is riding away from the Courts of earth,
Riding away from the world's unrest
To a mystical goal, on a secret quest.
Though in royal splendour she drives through town
Her robes are simple, she wears no crown;
And yet she wears one; for, widowed no more,
She is crowned with the love that has gone before,
And crowned with the love she has left behind
In the hidden depths of each mourner's mind.
Bow low your heads -- lift your hearts on high --
The Queen in silence is driving by!
That Mrs. Wilcox had a versitile command of the poetic medium becomes increasingly evident on thorough examination of her collected poems. These are good examples of the epigram in verse:
Fate used me meanly; but I looked at her and laughed ;
That none might know, how bitter was the cup I quaffed.
Along came Joy, and paused beside me where I sat ;
Saying, "I came to see what you were laughing at."
God, what a world, if men in street and mart,
Felt that same kinship of the human heart,
Which makes them, in the face of fire and flood,
Rise to the meaning of True Brotherhood.