Phillis Wheatley

(1753 – 5 December 1784 / Gambia)

A Rebus

Poem by Phillis Wheatley


A bird delicious to the taste,
On which an army once did feast,
Sent by an hand unseen;
A creature of the horned race,
Which Britain's royal standards grace;
A gem of vivid green;


A town of gaiety and sport,
Where beaux and beauteous nymphs resort,
And gallantry doth reign;
A Dardan hero fam'd of old
For youth and beauty, as we're told,
And by a monarch slain;


A peer of popular applause,
Who doth our violated laws,
And grievances proclaim.
Th' initials show a vanquish'd town,
That adds fresh glory and renown
To old Britannia's fame.

Comments about A Rebus by Phillis Wheatley

  • Paresh ChakraParesh Chakra (11/28/2018 4:04:00 AM)

    I am like this poem thank sharing this poem(Report)Reply

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  • Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb (8/13/2018 8:54:00 AM)


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  • besty (5/3/2018 4:31:00 PM)

    thanks you I guess.. I need it for a project(Report)Reply

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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (4/29/2017 11:38:00 PM)

    adds fresh glory and renown
    To old Britanias fame.
    Thanks for sharing it here.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Lantz PierreLantz Pierre (4/29/2017 4:45:00 AM)

    It is highly dubious that Phillis Wheatley wrote this poem. It is generally recognized that James Bowdoin, politician, statesman and scholar, wrote it as a friendly poke to test Wheatley's knowledge. Her response, proving her knowledge, is below:

    An Answer To The Rebus, By The Author Of These Poems
    (Phillis Wheatley)

    The poet asks, and Phillis can’t refuse
    To show th’ obedience of the Infant muse.
    She knows the Quail of most inviting taste
    Fed Israel’s army in the dreary waste;
    And what’s on Britain’s royal standard borne,
    But the tall, graceful, rampant Unicorn?
    The Emerald with a vivid verdure glows
    Among the gems which regal crowns compose;
    Boston’s a town, polite and debonair,
    To which the beaux and beauteous nymphs repair,
    Each Helen strikes the mind with sweet surprise,
    While living lightning flashes from her eyes,
    See young Euphorbus of the Dardan line
    By Manelaus’ hand to death resign:
    The well known peer of popular applause
    Is C—-m zealous to support our laws.
    Quebec now vanquish’d must obey,
    She too much annual tribute pay
    To Britain of immortal fame.
    And add new glory to her name.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (4/29/2017 3:42:00 AM)

    A gem of vivid green..... thanks for posting(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Tom Allport (4/29/2017 3:21:00 AM)

    a puzzling poem? but one thing is for sure that of Britannia's gain! ..........written well.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (4/29/2017 2:42:00 AM)

    Sent by a hand unseen! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Alexander JulianAlexander Julian (4/29/2017 1:32:00 AM)

    Is the bird a jewel or a shade?(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Jake Boguson (2/2/2017 1:32:00 PM)

    i like it. it is nice.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/25/2014 9:31:00 AM)

    I like this its very... Artistic(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
Read all 11 comments »

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Read poems about / on: hero, green, beauty

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004