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We Wear the Mask

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Today’s Lenten poem from Education for Justice is by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
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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 over-wise,
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.

Source: “We Wear the Mask” from The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence
Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1913.

Posted by opreach on February 20, 2013

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