SOLITUDE

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
     For the sad old earth
     Must borrow it's mirth,
It 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 want 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 it cannot 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.

Kingdom of love and How Salvator won by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago, W.B. Conkey company [1902].


Back to Poem Index