What’s Not Been Said a Thousand Times?

Twelfth Day or Not: When the New Year comes in, Christmas goes out. Call it the Mulch of Memory.

The New Year comes in, Christmas goes out —into the rich mulch of memory.
(Photograph by Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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.

During the decades when Brownstone Brooklyn was being developed, Wisconsinite Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s poetry was appearing often in newspapers and magazines of the day.  In 1883 she sold the poem ” Solitude” to the New York Sun for $5.00. It contained her most famous lines: “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone.”

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