Phillis Wheatley

(1753 – 5 December 1784 / Gambia)

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.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem (An Hymn To The Morning by Phillis Wheatley )

  • Freshman - 514 Points Sally Plumb Plumb (10/24/2014 1:44:00 AM)

    Brilliant write! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 11,774 Points Ramesh Rai (3/21/2014 9:47:00 AM)

    I like the rhyming of this poem. A soulful write emotions have deeply been poured. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Neven Ivanisevic (3/21/2013 1:34:00 PM)

    Wonderful poem. I like it very much. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carlos Echeverria (3/21/2012 10:56:00 AM)

    Wonderful mixing of the classical tradition with stream of consciousness expression. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Morgan Star (3/21/2012 7:38:00 AM)

    it ok i guess but i diddn't get half of the words (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Terence George Craddock (3/21/2010 3:08:00 PM)

    A beautiful poem written in the classical tradition. However the muse list is varied according to historical periods and even myths were often regional with three or four different common versions. My favourite dramatist, Euripides, even added another form of drama to comedy and tragedy, tragic-comedy because he realized life was like that.
    There are often agreed to be three original muses, Aoide (song or voice) , Melete (practice or memory) and Calliope (epic poetry or beautiful voice) . Mnene and Arche are also mentioned.
    At Delphi another three muses were Nete, Meser and Hypate, the three cords of the lyre. They were also called Cephisso, Apollonis and Borysthenis at other locations. Clio, Erato and Polymia are three more from Indo-European.
    If we call the Ancient Greeks the Helenes as they called themselves, and remember there were three main ethnic divisions, Illyrians Achaean and Aeolian if I remember correctly and the Ionian dialect. And that they had some had trouble understanding each other in Troy, and then bring in Proto Indo-European and the theoretical Dorian Invasion of Greece, in three diachronic waves, which replaced the mother Gods, things are starting to get complicated.
    There was never only one invasion into Ancient Greece. The sea people, the possible Anatolian origin of the Pelasgian language, the invasions of llyrians like the Bryges. Linear A and B, later Greek dialects, and so little extant on pottery and surviving in later records, due to wars and limitations of scribal culture, means our knowledge of even varied names of muses in mythology is limited.
    Wheatley has read the classics well, it was obvious in her last poem. Aurora is the goddess of dawn in Roman mythology and in Latin poetry. Eos is the comparable Greek goddess and Aurora is the Latin word for dawn. An example of simple Greek Roman classical mixing. Luckily we do not need to know any of that to enjoy this wonderful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Eliza Keating (3/21/2010 1:30:00 PM)

    what an absolutely beautiful piece of writing, this piece flows so nicely.it is very easy to read, there is no strain at all, well done (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (3/21/2010 11:36:00 AM)

    ALERT! Hear the bells that go ting-a-ling-a-ling? They sound the muse alert for all poets and wannabees who need their help! Them old Greeks had a name for each and everyone! Names of each and their realms of interest are as follows: Calliope (epic poetry) , Clio (history) , Erato (music and love poetry) , Euterpe (music) , Melpomene (tragedy) , Polyhymnia (sacred poetry) , Terpsichore (choral dance and song) , Thalia (comedy) , and Urania (astronomy) . Count 'em - nine in all!

    Just goes to show that an eighteenth century slave mastered the details of her vocation, right? Modern wannabees can chortle and compare their stuff to Miss Wheatley's all day and into the night and they still fall short! You go, girl! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 26 Points Joseph Poewhit (3/21/2010 7:30:00 AM)

    Nothing like that big light bulb in the heavens (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 312 Points Indira Renganathan (3/21/2010 2:02:00 AM)

    Another chance of reading Phillis Wheatley's poem... enjoying the bliss of Morning worshipping Aurora in the sorrounding of freshened nature...this is a four lined poem I guess....
    'In smoothest numbers pour the notes along,
    For bright Aurora now demands my song.'

    Ye shady groves, your verdant gloom display
    To shield your poet from the burning day:

    ...adorable lines
    ' (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 508 Points Ramesh T A (3/21/2010 1:59:00 AM)

    A beautiful welcome address as well as a tribute to Aurora is wonderfully rendered in this poem by the poet! Like the dawn it is a majestic poem to read! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Maddison Wheatley (3/21/2009 11:31:00 PM)

    Wheatley is my last name! U stealed it: (lolz I couldn't understand this. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,478 Points Is It Poetry (3/21/2009 4:48:00 PM)

    It is nearly forgotten this mode of speech..They would think us as strange..The two collide one will be lost... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 291 Points Metin Sahin (3/21/2009 11:10:00 AM)

    ı am turkish poet.ı could not anderstand a bit.sorry clasic poety. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 291 Points Metin Sahin (3/21/2009 11:08:00 AM)

    a very heavy language.not easy to understand and revoke feeling.not a modern poemit seems as my garandfather's.Poet.Please write modern and easy poems. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (3/21/2009 8:03:00 AM)

    I'm never sure what the point is of invoking the Muse. This poem to me begins at line five. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sarah Butler (3/21/2008 3:28:00 PM)

    NOW THIS POEM IS TRUE... ITS WONDERFUL (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 2 Points Chris Mendros (3/21/2007 4:56:00 PM)

    now this is classic stuff, as if it needed me to say so. (Report) Reply

Read all 18 comments »

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