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Live Stream: We Wear the Mask by Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Written by Rachael Norris, 9th June 2020

On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1pm you can join us on Facebook live for your bi-weekly dose of literature read aloud. We'll be looking at poems and texts that inspire us, reading along together and offering the chance for people to share their thoughts and get involved in discussions. If you'd like your lunch time to involve some literature, sit back and enjoy.

Today we are reading We Wear the Mask by Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

We Wear the Mask - Paul Lawrence 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!

Posted by The Reader on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

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 Lawrence Dunbar

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