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Lines by Heart: We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Written by Rachael Norris, 11th October 2020

As October is Black History Month, we have chosen a month of readings on this theme for our Daily Readings. Check out our schedule for October by downloading the calendar here. 

This week, The Reader's Director of Development and Communications, Jemma Guerrier, recites We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

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 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 otherwise,
       We wear the mask!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar 

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