Happy Monday! Today I want to share the poem Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Ella wrote this poem after an experience she had while traveling to an inaugural ball for the Governor of Wisconsin. On her way to the celebration, there was a young woman dressed in black sitting across the aisle from her. The woman was crying. Miss Wheeler sat next to her and sought to comfort her for the rest of the journey. When they arrived, the poet was so depressed that she could barely attend the scheduled festivities. As she looked at her own radiant face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of “Solitude”.
It may sound like a depressing story for a “Motivated Monday” post but it is significant in that it teaches us that when we work to be positive and have our life in order, the world will be there to support us. If we become self-critical or dwell on the negatives of life, people don’t want to be around us and we start a downward spiral towards depression.
Remember to laugh because when you do, the world will laugh with you. Be friendly and you will have friends all around. Serve others and you will have joy returned to you.
Without further ado, Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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 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.
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