by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Said an Irishman who had several times been kicked downstairs: "I begin
to think they don't want me around here." So it is with our sorrows, our
struggles. Life decrees that they belong to us individually. If we try
to make others share them, we are shunned. But struggling and weary
humanity is glad enough to share our joys.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth
Must borrow its mirth,
It 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 want 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 it cannot 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.