What a hauntingly beautiful piece x

Solitude

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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 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 large and lordly train,

But one by one we must all file on

    Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Cover photo by Lance Shields.

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