Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. Her best-known work was Poems of Passion. Her most enduring work was " Solitude", which contains the lines: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone". Her autobiography, The Worlds and I, was published in 1918, a year before her death.


Ella Wheeler was born in 1850 on a farm in Johnstown, Wisconsin, east of Janesville, the youngest of four children. The family soon moved north of Madison. She started writing poetry at a very early age, and was well known as a poet in her own state by the time she graduated from high school.

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Comments about Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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  • Michael toms (6/24/2018 1:22:00 AM)

    A romantic

  • Jonhkyle N. Cambaya (11/11/2017 9:35:00 AM)

    Everything its undercontrOl

  • Chetan Pandey Chetan Pandey (12/16/2015 9:29:00 AM)

    This is a great poem... Should be poem of the week

  • Lori Lee (7/6/2015 9:44:00 PM)

    I have the book Poems Of Passion. Published 1912. Inscription inside * 1914 * Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Gay & Hancock Ltd. London

  • Jane Stokes (8/18/2013 1:59:00 PM)

    I have a little leather book 3 inches by 2 inches titled Gems from Wilcox further down on the Suede (?) cover is the word LOVE. Inside is a list of Poems by the Same Author. Passion etc. Perhaps a dozen or so. Turn a page. A photo of Ella Wheeler Wilcox sitting a straight back chair elbows resting on the arm with her hand under her chin..so much more.
    i can not find this book online any where. 87 pages..ex. To Marry or not to Marry? Love is Enough, Be Not Attached. I am planning on giving this booklet away as a gift...hhmm should I. This person knows nothing of Ellz Wilcox. any answers..

  • Aspiration Hearts Desire (3/20/2012 8:26:00 PM)

    I have a treasury of poems of ella wheeler wilcox and there is a poem in it that you have not got. It is called Secret Thoughts. I have not checked if all poems from this book are in there yet. Book is called An Ella Wheeler Wilcox Treasury. Publishers Leopold B Hill London. It has a inscription on front page dated 1918, so is old.

  • Julio Callejas (3/3/2012 12:59:00 AM)

    Hello...I just came across a book by Ella...Poems of passion....Its a baby blue book with art nouveau vines with 3 flowers on the cover...In side it is inscribed by Ella....Love is the center and the circumference, the cause and sum of all things...Ella Wheeler Wilcox...What is something like this worth? ...who needs to see this.. and able to tell me what to do with this book?

  • Cathy Smith (2/17/2012 6:47:00 AM)

    I have an original of the book The Best Loved Poems of the American People, and this poem has been changed from the original. Words changed, punctuation changed, whole lines left out or in different order. This is how the poem appeared in print in 1936 and I believe it to be the correct one just by the line regarding powering the mill that grinds the FLOUR not flower! !

    The Two Glasses

    There sat two glasses, filled to the brim,
    On a rich man's table, rim to rim;
    One was ruddy and red as blood,
    And one was clear as the crystal flood.

    Said the glass of wine to his paler brother:
    Let us tell the tales of the past to each other;
    I can tell of banquet and revel and mirth,
    And the proudest and grandest souls on earth
    Fell under my touch as though struck by blight,
    Where I was a king, for I ruled in might;
    From the heads of kings I have torn the crown,
    From the heights of fame I have hurled men down:
    I have blasted many an honored name;
    I have taken virtue and given shame;
    I have tempted the youth with a sip, a taste,
    That has made his future a barren waste.
    Greater, far greater than king am I,
    Or than any army beneath the sky.
    I have made the arm of the driver fail,
    And sent the train from the iron rail;
    I have made good ships go down at sea,
    And the shrieks of the lost were sweet to me,
    For they said, 'Behold how great you be!
    Fame, strength, wealth, genius before you fall,
    For your might and power are over all.'
    Ho! ho! pale brother, laughed the wine,
    Can you boast of deeds as great as mine?

    Said the water-glass: I cannot boast
    Of a king dethroned or a murdered host;
    But I can tell of a heart once sad,
    By my crystal drops made light and glad;
    Of thirsts I've quenched, of brows I've laved,
    Of hands I have cooled, and souls I have saved;
    I have leaped through the valley, dashed down the mountain,
    Flowed in the river and played in the fountain,
    Slept in the sunshine and dropped from the sky.
    And everywhere gladdened the landscape and eye.
    I have eased the hot forehead of fever and pain;
    I have made the parched meadows grow fertile with grain;
    I can tell of the powerful wheel of the mill,
    That ground out the flour and turned at my will.
    I can tell of manhood debased by you,
    That I have uplifted and crowned anew.
    I cheer, I help, I strengthen and aid;
    I gladden the heart of man and maid;
    I set the chained wine-captive free;
    And all are better for knowing me.

    These are the tales they told each other,
    The glass of wine and the paler brother,
    As they sat together filled to the brim,
    On a rich man's table, rim to rim.

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • Gretchen Primack (1/15/2012 10:06:00 PM)

    I'd like to reprint one of these poems in a book I'm working on. Anybody know if Wilcox' work is in the public domain? I assume so but would love to have confirmation! Thanks....

  • Zae (4/27/2011 7:33:00 PM)

    I luv your poems they reach my soul and theyn r so passionate

Read all 12 comments »
Best Poem of 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...

Read the full of Solitude
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