Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

Solitude Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


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 3, 2003
Edited: Sunday, May 15, 2005

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Comments about this poem (Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )

  • Rookie - 98 Points Katelin Taylor (3/16/2015 2:22:00 AM)

    One I have committed to memory. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 4,703 Points Terry Craddock (2/23/2015 4:18:00 PM)

    This is a fantastic poem and the first two lines have become a famous quotation due to a perceptive insight into human nature. The more this poem is read the more beautiful and applicable the words become as a life motto due to the beauty and wisdom of the lines. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,458 Points Savita Tyagi (2/23/2015 9:11:00 AM)

    Beautiful! Words of wisdom in flawless rhythm! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,458 Points Savita Tyagi (2/23/2015 9:10:00 AM)

    Beautiful! Words of wisdom in flawless rhythm! (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,511 Points John Richter (2/23/2015 6:59:00 AM)

    Incredible insight, and executed flawlessly.... Brilliant! The world does only love the winner. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 12,092 Points Kim Barney (2/23/2015 3:49:00 AM)

    Wow! I love this one! It's going to go on my favorite poem list. The first two lines have been a favorite saying of mine for years, but I never knew they came from a poem! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (2/23/2015 2:29:00 AM)

    poem with its positive effects hope giver and nice to read and think- Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
    Weep, and you weep alone.thank you (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (2/23/2015 2:29:00 AM)

    poem with its positive effects hope giver and nice to read and think- Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
    Weep, and you weep alone.thank you (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 37 Points Colleen Courtney (6/6/2014 7:00:00 PM)

    Wow! So glad this poem was recalled to mind! Only ever recall the first two lines and totally forgot how brutally honest but incredibly wonderful the full reading is! Love this write! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 13,881 Points * Sunprincess * (6/6/2014 6:38:00 PM)

    .........honestly this is one of the best poems ever written....completely tells you the straight hard facts of life.....
    ................................~~~~~~~ LOVE ~ LOVE ~ LOVE ~~~~~~~~..................................... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 54 Points 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. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie 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. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie 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................... (Report) Reply

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

    Absolutely true. My number one on the list. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 2 Points Allyson Heller (1/25/2012 12:35:00 AM)

    So true. This should be higher up on the list! (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,019 Points Smoky Hoss (10/19/2010 11:34:00 PM)

    When feeling alone,
    Converse with a poem... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie 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... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie 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? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie 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. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jw Cy (7/13/2007 3:46:00 AM)

    I bumped into this poem and i loved it since. it keeps me company when i'm feeling out there, alone, the title of the poem says it all. (Report) Reply

Read all 25 comments »

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