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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938). The Book of American Negro Poetry. 1922.

The Dawn’s Awake!

THE DAWN’S awake!

A flash of smoldering flame and fire

Ignites the East. Then, higher, higher,

O’er all the sky so gray, forlorn,

The torch of gold is borne.

The Dawn’s awake!

The dawn of a thousand dreams and thrills.

And music singing in the hills

A pæan of eternal spring

Voices the new awakening.

The Dawn’s awake!

Whispers of pent-up harmonies,

With the mingled fragrance of the trees;

Faint snatches of half-forgotten song—

Fathers! torn and numb,—

The boon of light we craved, awaited long,

Has come, has come!