Poem by Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784)

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.



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Written on 2022-11-14 at 00:07

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ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Phyillis Wheatley taken to be a Slave
By African retailers sold on by other Africans - wholers - AFRICANS THEMSELVES!
Sold to white European WHOLESALERS! - then shipped off
To the U S A - in chains still as she had been since she had been taken - put on an the auction - block naked - SOLD RETAIL!!
A white man saw her - saw as Ideil ' companan ' for his wife
Her name was taken away from her - her freedom lay back in Africa - to be evenchly - TO BE FREED - SHE HAD BEEN FORCHANET - UNLIKE THOWSANDS OF OTHER AFRICANS - TAKEN INTO SLAVERY!
She were talt to read & write - eventually she were freed
She wrote poetry - some have survived to be read today
A patronizing white, ask her: ' Do you sing & dance? '
She replied with: ' DO I CAN I SING & DANCE! ' Acid in her voice!

Ken D. Williams