The Poetry Corner

Behind The Arras

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

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.