Paul Laurence Dunbar

1872-1906 / Ohio / United States

The Awakening

I DID not know that life could be so sweet,
I did not know the hours could speed so fleet,
Till I knew you, and life was sweet again.
The days grew brief with love and lack of pain —
I was a slave a few short days ago,
The powers of Kings and Princes now I know;
I would not be again in bondage, save
I had your smile, the liberty I crave.
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