Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

by Yin on November 6, 2010

in Tis Thing Called Life

Lake in Sri Lanka

Lake in Sri Lanka

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone.

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But have trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer

Sigh, it s lost on the air.

The echoes bound to a joyful sound,

But shrink from voicing with 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.

They 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 a 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.

(Written in 1883)

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