Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
    Weep, and you weep alone,
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth--
    It has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer,
    Sigh, and 'tis lost on the air;
The Echoes rebound to a joyful sound
    And 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;
Forget and forgive--it helps you to live,
    But no man can help you die!
There is room in the halls of pleasure
    For a long and lordly train,
But, one by one, we must all march on
    Through the narrow aisle of pain.

                                     --Ella Wheeler.

The Observer and Gazette [Fayetteville, N.C.] 24 Dec. 1885: 4.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

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