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A Hymn come the Evening


1773

Phillis Wheatley 1753 - 1784


A Hymn come the night (1773)

Phillis Wheatley


Oxford English dictionary (OED) links Off


Soon as the sunlight forsook the eastern mainThe pealing thunder shook the heav’nly plain;Majestic grandeur! native the zephyr‘s wing,Exhales the incense the the bloomed spring.Soft purl the streams, the bird renew their notes,And with the air their mingled music floats.Through every the heav’ns what beauteous dies space spread!But the west glories in the deepest red:So might our breasts through ev’ry virtue glow,The living holy places of our God below!Fill’d through the praise of him who gives the light,And color etc the sable curtains the the night,Let placid slumbers sooth every weary mind,At morn to wake much more heav’nly, more refin’d;So candlestick the labours that the work beginMore pure, much more guarded from the snares of sin.Night’s leaden sceptre seals my drowsy eyes,Then cease, mine song, till same Aurora rise.


photo © public domain. Frontispiece come Phillis Wheatley"s "Poems on assorted Subjects..." (1773) poem

Learn much more about the language the this poem in the Oxford English Dictionary:


Explore the poem

Written in nine rhyming couplets the soothing pleasing sound the the city is established by the sibilants in the very first line. Thunder shortly follows however rather 보다 provoking fear it inspires awe and wonder. It shows up that we room on the brink of springtime when the tenderness west wind, “zephyr” is felt and also the colours and fragrances of spring room experienced.

Notice exactly how in the middle of the poem the charming description of an evening in beforehand spring takes on one unmistakably religious tone. The poet wishes that our God given virtues have to “glow” in ours breasts together brightly and gloriously as the sky at the minute just prior to the sun sets. The definition of the location which explains the city as a “hymn” or a track of praise to God is clearly apparent currently as Wheatley refers to God as the giver the “the light” and also hopes the refreshed by chaste sleep all guys will take on the labours that the day retained safe indigenous the “snares the sin”.

The poem concludes as gently as it started with the multiple, almost whispered “s” sound in the final couplet creating a sense of peace and also tranquillity.

About Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley’s life and accomplishments are extraordinary. Taken native her house in West Africa by servant traders when she was about seven she was carried to America and also in 1761 to buy by a prominent Boston family and given their name – Wheatley. Whilst she was expected to perform certain domestic duties Phillis to be taught come read and write and also began to screen impressive intellectual qualities and poetic an abilities influenced through the Bible and also eighteenth century evangelical Christianity.

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She published her very first and only publication of verse, “Poems on various Subjects, religious and Moral” in 1773. In doing so she became the an initial African American and very first U.S. Slave to i have announced a publication of poems. Wheatley invested some time in England and received assistance from various spiritual leaders and also abolitionists who provided their affect to assist secure the publishing of Wheatley’s book. By now she was a very acclaimed poet in both England and also America however following the death of granny Wheatley and other members the the Wheatley household she started to encounter financial difficulties. She married one more freed black color slave and also had children yet they were constantly battling poverty and also living in squalid conditions. She continued to write and also attempted come enlist jae won backing for one more collection of poetry but to no avail. She died in 1784 in Boston.