“But alone you must drink life’s gall”

I want to share this poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox called Solitude. It describes the truth about loneliness and life so perfectly. I always find it comforting to read when I feel isolated because it reminds me that most people will only be by your side when all is well and disappear when things go downhill and that I should not expect too much from people. I find that this is especially true for mental illness.

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 long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain. 

Source: Poemhunter.com

 

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