SOLITUDE

      BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you ;
    Weep, and you weep alone ;
This sad old earth must borrow its mirth,--
    It 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.
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.
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.
Feast, and your halls are crowded ;
    Fast, and the world goes by ;
Succeed and give, 'twill help you live,
    But no one can help you die.
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 wo.

The National Tribune [Washington] 3 Sep. 1885: 4.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.


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