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"A Hymn to the Morning" from POEMS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS, RELIGIOUS AND MORAL
1773
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division
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Picture of the text of Wheatley's poem 'A Hymn to the Morning'
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Document Description
Phillis Wheatley was born in Africa and sold into slavery in Boston, Massachusetts. Phillis' Boston owners educated her alongside their own daughters. Phillis' erudition is revealed in this poem, which referrs to the Greek goddesses of the dawn, Aurora, and to Zephyr, the West Wind. Phillis was the first African-American poet to be published.

Transcript
POEMS ON

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 thousands dies, Which deck thy progress[s] 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:

[Page] 57

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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