Poems of Passion/Solitude

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Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Solitude

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
       Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
       But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
       Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
       But 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 need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
       Be sad, and you lose them all;
There are none to decline your nectar'd 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 room in the halls of pleasure
       For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
       Through the narrow aisles of pain.


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.