Phillis Wheatley ( )


A Farewel to America


                    To Mrs. S. W.

I.

ADIEU, New-Englands smiling meads,
      Adieu, the flowry plain:
I leave thine opning charms, O spring,
      And tempt the roaring main.
 
II.

In vain for me the flowrets rise,
      And boast their gaudy pride,
While here beneath the northern skies
      I mourn for health denyd.
 
III.

Celestial maid of rosy hue,
      O let me feel thy reign!
I languish till thy face I view,
      Thy vanishd joys regain.
 
IV.

Susannah mourns, nor can I bear
      To see the crystal showr,
Or mark the tender falling tear
      At sad departures hour;
 
V.

Not unregarding can I see
      Her soul with grief opprest:
But let no sighs, no groans for me,
      Steal from her pensive breast.
 
VI.

In vain the featherd warblers sing,
      In vain the garden blooms,
And on the bosom of the spring
      Breathes out her sweet perfumes,
 
VII.

While for Britannias distant shore
      We sweep the liquid plain,
And with astonishd eyes explore
      The wide-extended main.
 
VIII.

Lo! Health appears! celestial dame!
      Complacent and serene,
With Hebes mantle oer her Frame,
      With soul-delighting mein.
 
IX.

To mark the vale where London lies
      With misty vapours crownd,
Which cloud Auroras thousand dyes,
      And veil her charms around,
 
X.

Why, Phœbus, moves thy car so slow?
      So slow thy rising ray?
Give us the famous town to view,
      Thou glorious king of day!
 
XI.

For thee, Britannia, I resign
      New-Englands smiling fields;
To view again her charms divine,
      What joy the prospect yields!
 
XII.

But thou! Temptation hence away,
      With all thy fatal train
Nor once seduce my soul away,
      By thine enchanting strain.
 
XIII.

Thrice happy they, whose heavnly shield
      Secures their souls from harms,
And fell Temptation on the field
      Of all its powr disarms!

Boston, May 7, 1773

Phillis Wheatley's other poems:
  1. To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works
  2. To Maecenas
  3. Ode to Neptune
  4. To a Lady and Her Children
  5. On Being Brought from Africa to America


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