The rhythm and rhyme of this poem dances to the melody of my life. It has resonated with me since I first read it, and continues to echo the sentiments that unravel my composure, while simultaneously providing me with the awkward comfort of knowing that my struggles are not new, nor unique. As troubled as I may be, it confirms that what plagues me is as common as the cold which demands no special treatment except a common remedy for a common ailment. Let her words speak.
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,
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.