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On Virtue

 O Thou bright jewel in my aim I strive
To comprehend thee.
Thine own words declare Wisdom is higher than a fool can reach.
I cease to wonder, and no more attempt Thine height t' explore, or fathom thy profound.
But, O my soul, sink not into despair, Virtue is near thee, and with gentle hand Would now embrace thee, hovers o'er thine head.
Fain would the heav'n-born soul with her converse, Then seek, then court her for her promis'd bliss.
Auspicious queen, thine heav'nly pinions spread, And lead celestial Chastity along; Lo! now her sacred retinue descends, Array'd in glory from the orbs above.
Attend me, Virtue, thro' my youthful years! O leave me not to the false joys of time! But guide my steps to endless life and bliss.
Greatness, or Goodness, say what I shall call thee, To give me an higher appellation still, Teach me a better strain, a nobler lay, O thou, enthron'd with Cherubs in the realms of day.

by Phillis Wheatley
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