Phillis Wheatley ( )

On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770

  HAIL, happy saint, on thine immortal throne,
  Possest of glory, life, and bliss unknown;
  We hear no more the music of thy tongue,
  Thy wonted auditories cease to throng.
  Thy sermons in unequalld accents flowd,
  And evry bosom with devotion glowd;
  Thou didst in strains of eloquence refind
  Inflame the heart, and captivate the mind.
  Unhappy we the setting sun deplore,
  So glorious once, but ah! it shines no more.
    Behold the prophet in his towring flight!
  He leaves the earth for heavns unmeasurd height,
  And worlds unknown receive him from our sight.
  There Whitefield wings with rapid course his way,
  And sails to Zion through vast seas of day.
  Thy prayrs, great saint, and thine incessant cries
  Have piercd the bosom of thy native skies.
  Thou moon hast seen, and all the stars of light,
  How he has wrestled with his God by night.
  He prayd that grace in evry heart might dwell,
  He longd to see America excell;
  He chargd its youth that evry grace divine
  Should with full lustre in their conduct shine;
  That Saviour, which his soul did first receive,
  The greatest gift that evn a God can give,
  He freely offerd to the numrous throng,
  That on his lips with listning pleasure hung.
    Take him, ye wretched, for your only good,
  Take him ye starving sinners, for your food;
  Ye thirsty, come to this life-giving stream,
  Ye preachers, take him for your joyful theme;
  Take him my dear Americans, he said,
  Be your complaints on his kind bosom laid:
  Take him, ye Africans, he longs for you,
  Impartial Saviour is his title due:
  Washd in the fountain of redeeming blood,
  You shall be sons, and kings, and priests to God.
     Great Countess,* we Americans revere
  Thy name, and mingle in thy grief sincere;
  New England deeply feels, the Orphans mourn,
  Their more than father will no more return.
    But, though arrested by the hand of death,
  Whitefield no more exerts his labring breath,
  Yet let us view him in th eternal skies,
  Let evry heart to this bright vision rise;
  While the tomb safe retains its sacred trust,
  Till life divine re-animates his dust.

  *The Countess of Huntingdon, to whom Mr. Whitefield
   was Chaplain.

Phillis Wheatley's other poems:
  1. A Funeral Poem on the Death of C. E. an Infant of Twelve Months
  2. On the Death of a Young Gentleman
  3. A Hymn to the Evening
  4. On Virtue
  5. Goliath of Gath

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