by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(November 5, 1850 - October 30, 1919)

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 nectar'd 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.