Minute English

“Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone”

“Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone”

The first part of the expression “laugh and the world laughs with you” means: keep your sense of humor and people will sympathize with you.

However, the second part “weep and you weep alone” means that you will not get any sympathy in your misery.

In summary: When you are happy, people are attracted to you and want to be with you and share your happiness; but, if you are miserable they will be put off and will avoid you.


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.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox – “Solitude” (1883)