Born November 5th 1850 Ella Wheeler Wilcox is described by some as a “popular rather than a literary poet” and is celebrated by others in books of bad verse.
She began writing poetry as a child and was published from the age of 13. Love her or hate her she had one thing right; people respond to positivity. Happiness draws a crowd and a smile returns a smile.
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.