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A Song
by
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


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Is anyone sad in the world, I wonder?
    Does anyone weep on a day like this,
With the sun above, and the green earth under?
    Why, what is life but a dream of bliss?

With the sun, and the skies, and the birds above me,
    Birds that sing as they wheel and fly —
With the winds to follow and say they love me —
    Who could be lonely? O ho, not I!

Somebody said, in the street this morning,
    As I opened my window to let in the light,
That the darkest day of the world was dawning;
    But I looked, and the East was a gorgeous sight.

One who claims that he knows about it
    Tells me the Earth is a vale of sin;
But I and the bees and the birds — we doubt it,
    And think it a world worth living in.

Some one says that hearts are fickle,
    That love is sorrow, that life is care,
And the reaper Death, with his shining sickle,
    Gathers whatever is bright and fair.

I told the thrush, and we laughed together,
    Laughed till the woods were all a-ring:
And he said to me, as he plumed each feather,
    "Well, people must croak, if they cannot sing."

Up he flew, but his song, remaining,
    Rang like a bell in my heart all day,
And silenced the voices of weak complaining,
    That pipe like insects along the way.

O world of light, and O world of beauty!
    Where are there pleasures so sweet as thine?
Yes, life is love, and love is duty;
    And what heart sorrows? O no, not mine!


This poem is in the public domain.


Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) was a popular and prolific poet. Published and lauded before she even graduated from high school, Ella preferred to write happy, upbeat poetry and was much beloved for it. More than a dozen of her poems are included in the book, Best Loved Poems of the American People (Doubleday, 2008). The familiar saying, "Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep, and you weep alone. . ." comes from her best-known poem, "Solitude." A morally strong and spiritual person, Ella believed that her purpose on earth was to practice kindness and service. Read more about her here.

 

 

 


Post New Comment:
barbsteff:
"Well, people must croak if they cannot sing" Wonderful and memorable line!
Posted 09/11/2019 01:14 PM
cork:
I love the rhythms and the rhymes.
Posted 09/10/2019 08:30 AM


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