- 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: 94
Dunbar, P. (1913). Behind the Arras. Lyrics of the Hearthside (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved August 11, 2022, from
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. "Behind the Arras." Lyrics of the Hearthside. Lit2Go Edition. 1913. Web. <>. August 11, 2022.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, "Behind the Arras," Lyrics of the Hearthside, Lit2Go Edition, (1913), accessed August 11, 2022,.
As in some dim baronial hall restrained,
A prisoner sits, engirt by secret doors
And waving tapestries that argue forth
Strange passages into the outer air;
So in this dimmer room which we call life,
Thus sits the soul and marks with eye intent
That mystic curtain o’er the portal death;
Still deeming that behind the arras lies
The lambent way that leads to lasting light.
Poor fooled and foolish soul! Know now that death
Is but a blind, false door that nowhere leads,
And gives no hope of exit final, free.