All mad

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All mad  (1910) 
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Cheer (1910)

"He is mad as a hare, poor fellow,
   And should be in chains," you say.
I haven't a doubt of your statement,
   But who isn't mad, I pray?
Why, the world is a great asylum,
   And people are all insane,
Gone daft with pleasure or folly,
   Or crazed with passion and pain.

The infant who shrieks at a shadow,
   The child with his Santa Claus faith,
The woman who worships Dame Fashion,
   Each man with his notions of death,
The miser who hoards up his earnings,
   The spendthrift who wastes them too soon,
The scholar grown blind in his delving,
   The lover who stares at the moon.

The poet who thinks life a paean,
   The cynic who thinks it a fraud,
The youth who goes seeking for pleasure,
   The preacher who dares talk of God,
All priests with their creeds and their croaking,
   All doubters who dare to deny,
The gay who find aught to wake laughter,
   The sad who find aught worth a sigh,
Whoever is downcast or solemn,
   Whoever is gleeful and glad,
Are only the dupes of delusions -
   We are all of us--all of us mad.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.