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


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.

User Rating: 4,7 / 5 ( 235 votes ) 61

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Comments (61)

I cite here the first two lines: Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone...............so true! The great poetess though she lived in another era, is still talking in the present language of our present society anno 2019. She spoke crystal clear and yet beautiful. I have again enjoyed very much in reading this lovely poem.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox is my favourite poet. Her imagery, flow, beat and pay-off are a joy to read. May God Bless and Keep you Ella.
this is so emo honestly like wut the hey smh
How wonderful in your few lines here, you exposed the world dear friend.
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.
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