On Being Brought from Africa to America

By Phillis Wheatley 1753–1784 Phillis Wheatley

'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
"Their colour is a diabolic die."
Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,
May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.

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Poet Phillis Wheatley 1753–1784

Subjects Religion, Social Commentaries, Christianity, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Couplet

Biography

Although she was an African slave, Phillis Wheatley was one of the best-known poets in prenineteenth-century America. Pampered in the household of prominent Boston commercialist John Wheatley, lionized in New England and England, with presses in both places publishing her poems, and paraded before the new republic's political leadership and the old empire's aristocracy, Wheatley was the abolitionists' illustrative testimony that . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Social Commentaries, Christianity, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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