Tag Archive | poems

Laugh and the world laughs with you

In the 1970’s (when we still sent greeting cards) I received a card with this poem on the front. I love the way the words roll along and almost turn into a song. The first two lines are often quoted when life gets difficult. It’s a cynical poem and I wish I could remember who sent it to me, perhaps I should have read more into the card and my relationship with the sender.

Solitude : EW 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.

Howick Falls, KZN

Extract from my Anthology

When I was at school we kept anthologies in which we wrote and appropriately illustrated the poems we had to learn by heart. As an adult I still keep an anthology but now it contains only poems and quotations which mean something to me. I discovered the words below in the early 1980’s but, unfortunately, do not know the name of the the writer. They are perfect to remember when life gets tough and problems seem insurmountable.

“When you think how you’ve been guided,

and helped upon the way,

How fears that really terrified,

died out and passed away;

How, when you felt all hope had gone,

there came a ray of light –

And through the darkening shadow,

You could find your way alright;

When you recall that all through life,

You have been safely led –

It’s treason and weak cowardice,

to fear what lies ahead.”



Sunrise : RL Pieterse