We Wear The Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Comments (95)

This poem became one of my favorite poems early in my adult life and still remains a favorite­čî╣
this poems may be one of the worst pieces of writing I have ever read
beautiful poem- deep and succinct. philosophical
This weak as
this is a real poem telling the true self
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