False Bravery by John Bedford Leno

As childhood dies, and manhood takes its place,
We often deem our independence won;
But, whence the mask we wear upon our face?
Oh, rather has not servitude begun?
The child, in sorrow, will not hide its tears,
While griefs suppressed proclaim men’s growing fears.

I love not tears, and yet I love not those,
Who truly boast they never shed a tear;
They are the outward badges of our woes
That heaven designed the sorrow-struck should wear:
I do confess, I deem the brave man weak,
Who wears a smile like rouge upon his cheek.

From: Leno, John Bedford, Drury Lane Lyrics, and Other Poems, 4th Edition, 1868, The Author: London, p. 189.

Date: 1868

By: John Bedford Leno (1826-1894)


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