On Virtue


On Virtue 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.
 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.


facebook share button twitter share button reddit share button share on pinterest pinterest

Add On Virtue to your library.

Return to the Phillis Wheatley library

© 2022 AmericanLiterature.com