Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
Weep, and you weep alone,
For the brave 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 limits of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But, one by one, we must all march on
Through the narrow aisle of pain.
["The Way of the World"]Fayetteville Observer 22 Feb. 1894: 1.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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