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 are slow to voice your 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.
The Sun [New York] 25 Feb. 1883: 3.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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