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 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 long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Comments about Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • (3/11/2019 2:56:00 AM)

    How wonderful in your few lines here, you exposed the world dear friend. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/4/2019 9:08:00 PM)

    The electronic voice kills the beauty of this poem. I have to write an essay about this poem, and I read it in class. It sounds much better with a real person's voice than a robot. I think the PoemHunter website was too lazy to record somebody reading the poem. Or maybe nobody was alive except for the website creator. (Report) Reply

  • (2/5/2019 12:13:00 PM)

    It smells bad so I don't like it (Report) Reply

  • (12/13/2018 7:20:00 PM)

    Otay😳😐😶 (Report) Reply

  • Ritika George (11/13/2018 12:01:00 AM)

    Hard truth of life... Well written (Report) Reply

  • (10/30/2018 3:32:00 PM)

    Look after one another! (Report) Reply

  • (8/22/2018 4:04:00 PM)

    This is my very favourite poem. So true, I love poetry and this us special. (Report) Reply

  • (8/1/2018 8:01:00 PM)

    MonsteR Want'S TO EaT YouR (Report) Reply

  • (5/19/2018 1:28:00 AM)

    A whole book of Life and Philosophy.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/8/2018 11:47:00 PM)

    Fantastic (Report) Reply

  • (1/27/2018 11:11:00 PM)

    Great poem very deep (Report) Reply

  • (1/10/2018 11:11:00 PM)

    This poem has been my favorite since I first heard it as a child. I will always love it. (Report) Reply

  • Alison Mujati (12/30/2017 9:06:00 AM)

    Weep and weep alone, this poem captured my feelings. (Report) Reply

  • (12/20/2017 9:39:00 PM)

    Excellent poem. (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (11/11/2017 3:08:00 PM)

    Laugh and world laughs with you. Solitude is enjoyed when we learn to laugh without world by our side. Enjoyed the poem very much. (Report) Reply

  • (7/16/2017 11:43:00 AM)

    A powerful poem that depicts the way life is, not the way life ought to be. In light of more recent studies on how to deal with grief, what humanity needs are people who will identify with and support (come along side) those in grief because of some major tragedy they have experienced. To shun those who grieve (as the poem describes) is the norm and is inhuman (not mentioned in the poem but maybe implied) . Ella's experience on the train, when she came along side the grieving widow and comforted her, is what humanity needs so much more of. The poem itself depicts the way things are, the usual inhuman attitude towards others who are suffering- to run from those who grieve. Pity the poem didn't end with a verse describing what is needed, especially since the train experience, which stirred Ella to write the poem, also showed, through Ella's example, the need to support and come alongside those who grieve and suffer. (Report) Reply

  • Sylvaonyema Uba (2/6/2017 11:25:00 PM)

    Rejoice, and men will seek you.

    Nice words!
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/3/2017 3:55:00 PM)

    the ups and downs of life all well written down. (Report) Reply

  • Shareq Rahman (11/28/2016 7:44:00 AM)

    It is a superb poem. Just for the sake of discussion, I give the following points.
    1. Weeping gives depression but when you visit a cardiologist, he will advice you not to laugh boisterously.
    2. You do not always grieve alone. In some funerals thousands will come to share the grief. In the Chinese community, they celebrate grief.
    3. Succeed and give and it helps you live. It is a good thought.
    4. But no man can help you die. The priest sometimes helps by prayer.
    (Report) Reply

  • A Fly (9/19/2016 1:16:00 AM)

    wonderful written lesson to a life (Report) Reply

Read all 58 comments »

# 69 poem on top 500 Poems

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

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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