Phillis Wheatley was the first published African American poet and first African-American woman whose writings helped create the genre of African American literature. Born in Gambia, she was made a slave at age seven. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and helped encourage her poetry.
The 1773 publication of Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral brought her fame, with figures such as George Washington praising her work. Wheatley also toured England and was praised in a poem by fellow African American poet Jupiter Hammon. Wheatley was emancipated by her owners after her poetic success, but stayed with the ... more »
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Phillis Wheatley Poems
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,
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,
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.
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.
A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An ...
Through airy roads he wings his instant flight To purer regions of celestial light; Enlarg'd he sees unnumber'd systems roll, Beneath him sees the universal whole,
A Farewell To America to Mrs. S. W.
I. ADIEU, New-England's smiling meads, Adieu, the flow'ry plain: I leave thine op'ning charms, O spring,
On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea...
FROM dark abodes to fair etherial light Th' enraptur'd innocent has wing'd her flight; On the kind bosom of eternal love She finds unknown beatitude above.
Ode To Neptune
On Mrs. W-----'s Voyage to England. I. WHILE raging tempests shake the shore,
An Hymn to Humanity
I. Lo! for this dark terrestrial ball Forsakes his azure-paved hall
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.
I. A bird delicious to the taste, On which an army once did feast,
MNEME begin. Inspire, ye sacred nine, Your vent'rous Afric in her great design. Mneme, immortal pow'r, I trace thy spring: Assist my strains, while I thy glories sing:
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
On The Death Of Rev. Mr. George Whitefie...
HAIL, happy saint, on thine immortal throne, Possest of glory, life, and bliss unknown; We hear no more the music of thy tongue, Thy wonted auditories cease to throng.
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THY various works, imperial queen, we see,
How bright their forms! how deck'd with pomp
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 ...