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Solitude

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
        Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
        But has trouble enough of it's 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.
                - Ella Wheeler Wilcox