An Hymn to the Evening

by


An Hymn to the Evening is featured in Wheatley's collection, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), published while she was still a slave. Wheatley was emancipated three years later.
An illustration for the story An Hymn to the Evening by the author Phillis Wheatley
An illustration for the story An Hymn to the Evening by the author Phillis Wheatley
An illustration for the story An Hymn to the Evening by the author Phillis Wheatley
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.

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