Thursday, August 03, 2006

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!

~Paul Laurence Dunbar

2 comments:

jhaas said...

gosh, I have just been indulging self condemnation for sharing my heart openly and unreservedly with every stranger I meet. this almost inspires me to do it more... it is just that I am tired, and beginning to feel like "the pigs may not want the pearls."

oh ambiguous confliction!

Arshunda said...

One of my faves...