Ella Wheeler Wilcox was a popular and well-known poet of the late 19th and early 20th century. I know a lot about her because my mother often quoted her poetry from memory.
Wilcox is the person who wrote this that you will surely recognize – from her poem, “Solitude”.
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 it's own.
No kidding. As much as she was acclaimed in her day, Wilcox, her biographer tells us, should be considered a bad major poet.
Tell that to my mother. And me too, I suppose, having learned many of Wilcox's poems before I could read.
This is titled “1910” which, I think, pretty well sums up most years:
What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.
Yes, all those things. Happy New Year, everyone.