We closet the true face (opposite)
We closet the face that frowns with truth
It reveals our cheeks and opens our eyes
This credit we demand from human sincerity
with whole and healthy hearts we frown
and mouth with single grossness.
Why shouldn’t the world be ignorant
in miscalculating all our happiness and joy?
Yes, let them see us while we closet the true face.
We frown, but o great Satan, our laughter
to thee from placid souls descends.
We cry, but oh the asphalt is lovely
beneath our feet, and short the mile.
But let the world remain in ignorance,
We closet the true face.
We Wear the Mask (original poem)
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
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 oh 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!