His Excellency General Washington

Phillis Wheatley

 
   Celestial choir! enthron'd in realms of light,
Columbia's scenes of glorious toils I write.
While freedom's cause her anxious breast alarms,
She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
See mother earth her offspring's fate bemoan,
And nations gaze at scenes before unknown!
See the bright beams of heaven's revolving light
Involved in sorrows and the veil of night!
   The Goddess comes, she moves divinely fair,
Olive and laurel binds Her golden hair:
Wherever shines this native of the skies,
Unnumber'd charms and recent graces rise.
   Muse! Bow propitious while my pen relates
How pour her armies through a thousand gates,
As when Eolus heaven's fair face deforms,
Enwrapp'd in tempest and a night of storms;
Astonish'd ocean feels the wild uproar,
The refluent surges beat the sounding shore;
Or think as leaves in Autumn's golden reign,
Such, and so many, moves the warrior's train.
In bright array they seek the work of war,
Where high unfurl'd the ensign waves in air.
Shall I to Washington their praise recite?
Enough thou know'st them in the fields of fight.
Thee, first in peace and honors—we demand
The grace and glory of thy martial band.
Fam'd for thy valour, for thy virtues more,
Hear every tongue thy guardian aid implore!
   One century scarce perform'd its destined round,
When Gallic powers Columbia's fury found;
And so may you, whoever dares disgrace
The land of freedom's heaven-defended race!
Fix'd are the eyes of nations on the scales,
For in their hopes Columbia's arm prevails.
Anon Britannia droops the pensive head,
While round increase the rising hills of dead.
Ah! Cruel blindness to Columbia's state!
Lament thy thirst of boundless power too late.
   Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side,
Thy ev'ry action let the Goddess guide.
A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine,
With gold unfading, WASHINGTON! Be thine.
 

Poems by This Author

A Farewell to America by Phillis Wheatley
Adieu, New-England's smiling meads
On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley
'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
To S.M., A Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works by Phillis Wheatley
To show the lab'ring bosom's deep intent
To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth by Phillis Wheatley
HAIL, happy day, when, smiling like the morn


Further Reading

American Revolution
America, a Prophecy, Plates 3 and 4
by William Blake
A Farewell to America
by Phillis Wheatley
A Nation's Strength
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Political Litany
by Philip Freneau
America
by Walt Whitman
American Liberty
by Philip Freneau
Daniel Boone
by Stephen Vincent Benét
England in 1819
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman
Occasioned by General Washington's Arrival in Philadelphia, On His Way to His Residence in Virginia
by Philip Freneau
On Being Brought from Africa to America
by Phillis Wheatley
Paul Revere's Ride
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poems of the American Revolution
Song of Myself, III
by Walt Whitman
The Star-Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key
To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth
by Phillis Wheatley
When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd
by Walt Whitman