- Year Published: 1913
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: United States of America
- Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
- Word Count: 74
Dunbar, P. (1913). The Awakening. Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved June 24, 2021, from
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. "The Awakening." Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow. Lit2Go Edition. 1913. Web. <>. June 24, 2021.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, "The Awakening," Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow, Lit2Go Edition, (1913), accessed June 24, 2021,.
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.