- Year Published: 1913
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: United States of America
- Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
- Word Count: 101
Dunbar, P. (1913). "We Wear the Mask". Lyrics of Lowly Life (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved January 20, 2022, from
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. ""We Wear the Mask"." Lyrics of Lowly Life. Lit2Go Edition. 1913. Web. <>. January 20, 2022.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, ""We Wear the Mask"," Lyrics of Lowly Life, Lit2Go Edition, (1913), accessed January 20, 2022,.
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!