Came across these beautiful lines by Robert Browning Hamilton :
I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with sorrow;
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learnt from her,
When sorrow walked with me.
The above lines beautifully encapsulate our frame of mind during pleasure and sorrow. When we are happy, we move ahead merrily as if there’s no tomorrow. When we are entrenched in sorrow, we move ahead heavily, again as if there’s no tomorrow.
The above lines can also be interpreted with more relevance, if we substitute sorrow with problems. I think the Poet exhorts us to take sorrows or problems in our stride by taking them as learning and remain optimistic or hopeful because if pleasure is transient so is sorrow.
There’s another angle to interpreting the above lines. Pleasure seems to be getting over very quickly, for we are in celebratory mood and everyone is with us; when we are in deep sorrow or serious problem, we are alone so it seems mountainous. As a Hindi song describes it beautifully-
Sukh ke sab saathi
Dukh mein na koi
This is much oft explained enigma that pain and pleasure are the two sides of the same coin and go hand in hand. Like we celebrate a transient happy phase, we should keep hope in difficult phase too as sukh follows dukh and vice versa.