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(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

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Solitude

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's 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 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 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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Sunday, May 15, 2005


Read poems about / on: sad, alone, solitude, lost, world, pain, friend

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Comments about this poem (A Maiden To Her Mirror by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )

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  • Rouren Torres (1/3/2014 10:26:00 PM)

    It's true. I may speak to many, but only one knows me and is willing to suffer beside me, as I suffer beside her. That person is really hard to come by and even more precious.

    10 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • John Pendrey (12/4/2013 3:48:00 AM)

    It's a classic, but surely sometimes it's good to let ourselves be vulnerable or to share another's grief.

  • Umar Mansoor (4/22/2013 6:36:00 AM)

    The enduring significance and substance contained in this magnificently evocative and resilient poem touches the latent strings of subdued emotions with forceful resonance. It is easily one of the best poems I have ever read of English poetry. The bitter taste of the stanzas speak inevitably about the rustic human nature, since very few of us behold the morals to lift somebody from distress and make him/her feel happy...................

  • Nift Lagbart (6/27/2012 12:34:00 PM)

    it's mirth? ? ? NO. There is no apostrophe in the possessive its YOU COMPLETE FUCKING ILLITERATE MORONS

  • Evance Ombaka (4/8/2012 4:04:00 AM)

    Absolutely true. My number one on the list.

  • Allyson Heller (1/25/2012 12:35:00 AM)

    So true. This should be higher up on the list!

  • Smoky Hoss (10/19/2010 11:34:00 PM)

    When feeling alone,
    Converse with a poem...

  • Johnny Rodriguez (5/6/2010 11:19:00 AM)

    In response to J. Hays and Lori Smith.

    I agree, the same applies to me. I may be surround by many people but none are truly my friends, I guess I'm all alone...

  • Cracker Cow (12/21/2009 11:29:00 AM)

    I was only the age of seven when my mother recited this poem to me. It was after a judo match. The poem has been by my bed for years. The poem has brought me back from self pity. It has saved me from committing sucide as my mother did.
    Dearest mother why did you not remember the poem?

  • Natalie Walker (4/19/2008 2:45:00 PM)

    I learned this poem in the 80's and have not been able to 'forget' it. It says so much, and has inspired me to write a lot myself then, and now.

Read all 16 comments »

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