Weep and you weep alone.

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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.

Happy Birthday Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope

Famous in his own lifetime and famous ever since, Alexander Pope is the second most frequently quoted author in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after William Shakespeare.   Poet, essayist and translator of both Odyssey and Iliad by Homer.

It is funny the things that lead to a ‘revival’ for a writer.  Recently Kirsten Dunst played Mary in a film about a couple who undergo a mind wipe procedure to erase the pain of their memories of a love affair.  She trots out a quote from the Pope poem “Eloisa to Abelard”.  Overnight Pope was popular again.  I can’t remember the name of the movie but the quote in question is this:

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot! 
The world forgetting, by the world forgot
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d.

 

 

Ode on Solitude; by Alexander Pope

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose heards with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern’dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix’d; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.

eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind