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Best Famous Phillis Wheatley Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Phillis Wheatley poems. This is a select list of the best famous Phillis Wheatley poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Phillis Wheatley poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of phillis wheatley poems.

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Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

On Imagination

 Thy various works, imperial queen, we see,
 How bright their forms! how deck'd with pomp by thee!
Thy wond'rous acts in beauteous order stand,
And all attest how potent is thine hand.
From Helicon's refulgent heights attend, Ye sacred choir, and my attempts befriend: To tell her glories with a faithful tongue, Ye blooming graces, triumph in my song.
Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies, Till some lov'd object strikes her wand'ring eyes, Whose silken fetters all the senses bind, And soft captivity involves the mind.
Imagination! who can sing thy force? Or who describe the swiftness of thy course? Soaring through air to find the bright abode, Th' empyreal palace of the thund'ring God, We on thy pinions can surpass the wind, And leave the rolling universe behind: >From star to star the mental optics rove, Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole, Or with new worlds amaze th' unbounded soul.
Though Winter frowns to Fancy's raptur'd eyes The fields may flourish, and gay scenes arise; The frozen deeps may break their iron bands, And bid their waters murmur o'er the sands.
Fair Flora may resume her fragrant reign, And with her flow'ry riches deck the plain; Sylvanus may diffuse his honours round, And all the forest may with leaves be crown'd: Show'rs may descend, and dews their gems disclose, And nectar sparkle on the blooming rose.
Such is thy pow'r, nor are thine orders vain, O thou the leader of the mental train: In full perfection all thy works are wrought, And thine the sceptre o'er the realms of thought.
Before thy throne the subject-passions bow, Of subject-passions sov'reign ruler thou; At thy command joy rushes on the heart, And through the glowing veins the spirits dart.
Fancy might now her silken pinions try To rise from earth, and sweep th' expanse on high: >From Tithon's bed now might Aurora rise, Her cheeks all glowing with celestial dies, While a pure stream of light o'erflows the skies.
The monarch of the day I might behold, And all the mountains tipt with radiant gold, But I reluctant leave the pleasing views, Which Fancy dresses to delight the Muse; Winter austere forbids me to aspire, And northern tempests damp the rising fire; They chill the tides of Fancy's flowing sea, Cease then, my song, cease the unequal lay.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

To a Lady on the Death of Her Husband

Grim monarch! see, depriv'd of vital breath,
A young physician in the dust of death:
Dost thou go on incessant to destroy,
Our griefs to double, and lay waste our joy?
"Enough" thou never yet wast known to say,
Though millions die, the vassals of thy sway:
Nor youth, nor science, nor the ties of love,
Nor aught on earth thy flinty heart can move.
The friend, the spouse from his dire dart to save, In vain we ask the sovereign of the grave.
Fair mourner, there see thy lov'd Leonard laid, And o'er him spread the deep impervious shade; Clos'd are his eyes, and heavy fetters keep His senses bound in never-waking sleep, Till time shall cease, till many a starry world Shall fall from heav'n, in dire confusion hurl'd, Till nature in her final wreck shall lie, And her last groan shall rend the azure sky: Not, not till then his active soul shall claim His body, a divine immortal frame.
But see the softly-stealing tears apace Pursue each other down the mourner's face; But cease thy tears, bid ev'ry sigh depart, And cast the load of anguish from thine heart: From the cold shell of his great soul arise, And look beyond, thou native of the skies; There fix thy view, where fleeter than the wind Thy Leonard mounts, and leaves the earth behind.
Thyself prepare to pass the vale of night To join for ever on the hills of light: To thine embrace his joyful sprit moves To thee, the partner of his earthly loves; He welcomes thee to pleasures more refin'd, And better suited to th' immortal mind.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

An Hymn to the Evening

Soon as the sun forsook the eastern main
The pealing thunder shook the heav'nly plain;
Majestic grandeur!  From the zephyr's wing,
Exhales the incense of the blooming spring.
Soft purl the streams, the birds renew their notes, And through the air their mingled music floats.
Through all the heav'ns what beauteous dies are spread! But the west glories in the deepest red: So may our breasts with ev'ry virtue glow, The living temples of our God below! Fill'd with the praise of him who gives the light, And draws the sable curtains of the night, Let placid slumbers sooth each weary mind, At morn to wake more heav'nly, more refin'd; So shall the labours of the day begin More pure, more guarded from the snares of sin.
Night's leaden sceptre seals my drowsy eyes, Then cease, my song, till fair Aurora rise.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

To S. M. a young African Painter on seeing his Works

To show the lab'ring bosom's deep intent,
And thought in living characters to paint,
When first thy pencil did those beauties give,
And breathing figures learnt from thee to live,
How did those prospects give my soul delight,
A new creation rushing on my sight?
Still, wond'rous youth! each noble path pursue,
On deathless glories fix thine ardent view:
Still may the painter's and the poet's fire
To aid thy pencil, and thy verse conspire!
And may the charms of each seraphic theme
Conduct thy footsteps to immortal fame!
High to the blissful wonders of the skies
Elate thy soul, and raise thy wishful eyes.
Thrice happy, when exalted to survey That splendid city, crown'd with endless day, Whose twice six gates on radiant hinges ring: Celestial Salem blooms in endless spring.
Calm and serene thy moments glide along, And may the muse inspire each future song! Still, with the sweets of contemplation bless'd, May peace with balmy wings your soul invest! But when these shades of time are chas'd away, And darkness ends in everlasting day, On what seraphic pinions shall we move, And view the landscapes in the realms above? There shall thy tongue in heav'nly murmurs flow, And there my muse with heav'nly transport glow: No more to tell of Damon's tender sighs, Or rising radiance of Aurora's eyes, For nobler themes demand a nobler strain, And purer language on th' ethereal plain.
Cease, gentle muse! the solemn gloom of night Now seals the fair creation from my sight.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

An Hymn to the Morning

Attend my lays, ye ever honour'd nine,
Assist my labours, and my strains refine;
In smoothest numbers pour the notes along,
For bright Aurora now demands my song.
Aurora hail, and all the thousand dies, Which deck thy progress through the vaulted skies: The morn awakes, and wide extends her rays, On ev'ry leaf the gentle zephyr plays; Harmonious lays the feather'd race resume, Dart the bright eye, and shake the painted plume.
Ye shady groves, your verdant gloom display To shield your poet from the burning day: Calliope awake the sacred lyre, While thy fair sisters fan the pleasing fire: The bow'rs, the gales, the variegated skies In all their pleasures in my bosom rise.
See in the east th' illustrious king of day! His rising radiance drives the shades away-- But Oh! I feel his fervid beams too strong, And scarce begun, concludes th' abortive song.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

An Hymn To Humanity (To S.P.G. Esp)

 O! for this dark terrestrial ball
Forsakes his azure-paved hall
 A prince of heav'nly birth!
Divine Humanity behold,
What wonders rise, what charms unfold
 At his descent to earth!

II.
The bosoms of the great and good With wonder and delight he view'd, And fix'd his empire there: Him, close compressing to his breast, The sire of gods and men address'd, "My son, my heav'nly fair! III.
"Descend to earth, there place thy throne; "To succour man's afflicted son "Each human heart inspire: "To act in bounties unconfin'd "Enlarge the close contracted mind, "And fill it with thy fire.
" IV.
Quick as the word, with swift career He wings his course from star to star, And leaves the bright abode.
The Virtue did his charms impart; Their G——! then thy raptur'd heart Perceiv'd the rushing God: V.
For when thy pitying eye did see The languid muse in low degree, Then, then at thy desire Descended the celestial nine; O'er me methought they deign'd to shine, And deign'd to string my lyre.
VI.
Can Afric's muse forgetful prove? Or can such friendship fail to move A tender human heart? Immortal Friendship laurel-crown'd The smiling Graces all surround With ev'ry heav'nly Art.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

On Being Brought from Africa to America

 'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye, "Their colour is a diabolic die.
" Remember, Christians, Negro's, black as Cain, May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

Thoughts On The Works Of Providence

 A R I S E, my soul, on wings enraptur'd, rise
To praise the monarch of the earth and skies,
Whose goodness and benificence appear
As round its centre moves the rolling year,
Or when the morning glows with rosy charms,
Or the sun slumbers in the ocean's arms:
Of light divine be a rich portion lent
To guide my soul, and favour my intend.
Celestial muse, my arduous flight sustain And raise my mind to a seraphic strain! Ador'd for ever be the God unseen, Which round the sun revolves this vast machine, Though to his eye its mass a point appears: Ador'd the God that whirls surrounding spheres, Which first ordain'd that mighty Sol should reign The peerless monarch of th' ethereal train: Of miles twice forty millions is his height, And yet his radiance dazzles mortal sight So far beneath--from him th' extended earth Vigour derives, and ev'ry flow'ry birth: Vast through her orb she moves with easy grace Around her Phoebus in unbounded space; True to her course th' impetuous storm derides, Triumphant o'er the winds, and surging tides.
Almighty, in these wond'rous works of thine, What Pow'r, what Wisdom, and what Goodness shine! And are thy wonders, Lord, by men explor'd, And yet creating glory unador'd! Creation smiles in various beauty gay, While day to night, and night succeeds to day: That Wisdom, which attends Jehovah's ways, Shines most conspicuous in the solar rays: Without them, destitute of heat and light, This world would be the reign of endless night: In their excess how would our race complain, Abhorring life! how hate its length'ned chain! From air adust what num'rous ills would rise? What dire contagion taint the burning skies? What pestilential vapours, fraught with death, Would rise, and overspread the lands beneath? Hail, smiling morn, that from the orient main Ascending dost adorn the heav'nly plain! So rich, so various are thy beauteous dies, That spread through all the circuit of the skies, That, full of thee, my soul in rapture soars, And thy great God, the cause of all adores.
O'er beings infinite his love extends, His Wisdom rules them, and his Pow'r defends.
When tasks diurnal tire the human frame, The spirits faint, and dim the vital flame, Then too that ever active bounty shines, Which not infinity of space confines.
The sable veil, that Night in silence draws, Conceals effects, but shows th' Almighty Cause, Night seals in sleep the wide creation fair, And all is peaceful but the brow of care.
Again, gay Phoebus, as the day before, Wakes ev'ry eye, but what shall wake no more; Again the face of nature is renew'd, Which still appears harmonious, fair, and good.
May grateful strains salute the smiling morn, Before its beams the eastern hills adorn! Shall day to day, and night to night conspire To show the goodness of the Almighty Sire? This mental voice shall man regardless hear, And never, never raise the filial pray'r? To-day, O hearken, nor your folly mourn For time mispent, that never will return.
But see the sons of vegetation rise, And spread their leafy banners to the skies.
All-wise Almighty Providence we trace In trees, and plants, and all the flow'ry race; As clear as in the nobler frame of man, All lovely copies of the Maker's plan.
The pow'r the same that forms a ray of light, That call d creation from eternal night.
"Let there be light," he said: from his profound Old Chaos heard, and trembled at the sound: Swift as the word, inspir'd by pow'r divine, Behold the light around its Maker shine, The first fair product of th' omnific God, And now through all his works diffus'd abroad.
As reason's pow'rs by day our God disclose, So we may trace him in the night's repose: Say what is sleep? and dreams how passing strange! When action ceases, and ideas range Licentious and unbounded o'er the plains, Where Fancy's queen in giddy triumph reigns.
Hear in soft strains the dreaming lover sigh To a kind fair, or rave in jealousy; On pleasure now, and now on vengeance bent, The lab'ring passions struggle for a vent.
What pow'r, O man! thy reason then restores, So long suspended in nocturnal hours? What secret hand returns the mental train, And gives improv'd thine active pow'rs again? From thee, O man, what gratitude should rise! And, when from balmy sleep thou op'st thine eyes, Let thy first thoughts be praises to the skies.
How merciful our God who thus imparts O'erflowing tides of joy to human hearts, When wants and woes might be our righteous lot, Our God forgetting, by our God forgot! Among the mental pow'rs a question rose, "What most the image of th' Eternal shows?" When thus to Reason (so let Fancy rove) Her great companion spoke immortal Love.
"Say, mighty pow'r, how long shall strife prevail, "And with its murmurs load the whisp'ring gale? "Refer the cause to Recollection's shrine, "Who loud proclaims my origin divine, "The cause whence heav'n and earth began to be, "And is not man immortaliz'd by me? "Reason let this most causeless strife subside.
" Thus Love pronounc'd, and Reason thus reply'd.
"Thy birth, coelestial queen! 'tis mine to own, "In thee resplendent is the Godhead shown; "Thy words persuade, my soul enraptur'd feels "Resistless beauty which thy smile reveals.
" Ardent she spoke, and, kindling at her charms, She clasp'd the blooming goddess in her arms.
Infinite Love where'er we turn our eyes Appears: this ev'ry creature's wants supplies; This most is heard in Nature's constant voice, This makes the morn, and this the eve rejoice; This bids the fost'ring rains and dews descend To nourish all, to serve one gen'ral end, The good of man: yet man ungrateful pays But little homage, and but little praise.
To him, whose works arry'd with mercy shine, What songs should rise, how constant, how divine!
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

One Being Brought From Africa To America

 'TWAS mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought now knew,
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
'Their colour is a diabolic die.
' Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain, May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

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.
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