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)