Paul Laurence Dunbar

Poetry Index

Behind The Arras

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.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Lyrics of the Hearthside

3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435. Phone: (937) 775-2525