Phillis Wheatley

(1753 – 5 December 1784 / Gambia)

On Virtue - Poem by Phillis Wheatley

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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.


Comments about On Virtue by Phillis Wheatley

  • Seamus O' Brian (11/2/2016 4:14:00 PM)


    Ahhh....virtue. A beautiful tribute to what was once considered not only the cornerstone to a successful life, but even more so to a successful society. Oh heaven, by Thy grace, let the call to virtue once more ring in our streets. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Clarence Prince (11/2/2016 8:54:00 AM)


    Her very words revealed that she was living with faith, and a hope in God! (Report) Reply

  • (11/2/2016 4:51:00 AM)


    Wisdom is higher than a fool can reach. A proven fact. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (11/2/2016 4:27:00 AM)


    poem on the importance of virtue with choicest words.....descriptive work too-10 (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/2/2016 3:39:00 AM)

    Oh my soul!
    Sink not into despair! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (11/2/2016 3:04:00 AM)

    Congrats for the POTD
    A wonderful poem, A prayer in poetic form... (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (11/2/2016 12:58:00 AM)


    Then seek, then court her for her promis'd bliss.

    Virtue indeed has a promised bliss..... Peace and order, life in prosperity, life worthy before the Lord..... Nice poem...
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: despair, time, life, joy



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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