Title

We Wear the Mask

Publication Information

published in Lyrics of a Lowly Life (1896)

Musical Settings

Richard Thompson, We Wear the Mask (soprano and piano) (January 1999)

Gary Bachlund, We Wear the Mask (medium voice and piano) (January 2009)

Reginald Evans, We Wear the Mask (September 2015)

Text

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!

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