Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral

by Phillis Wheatley

"On Virtue."

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1773
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Wheatley, P. (1773). Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.London, England: A. Bell.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 2.5
  • Word Count: 173
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: 18th century literature, american authors, poetry
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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.