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On Virtue by Phillis Wheatley

On Virtue

by Phillis Wheatley


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 heaven-born soul with her converse,

Then seek, then court her for her promised bliss.


Auspicious queen, thine heavenly pinions spread,

And lead celestial Chastity along;

Lo! now her sacred retinue descends,

Arrayed 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 an higher appellation still,

Teach me a better strain, a nobler lay,

O Thou, enthroned with Cherubs in the realms of day!




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