An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly

By Jupiter Hammon b. 1711 Jupiter Hammon
                         I
 
O come you pious youth! adore
    The wisdom of thy God,
In bringing thee from distant shore,
    To learn His holy word.
                                                 Eccles. xii.
 
                         II
 
Thou mightst been left behind
    Amidst a dark abode;
God’s tender mercy still combin’d,
    Thou hast the holy word.
                                         Psal. cxxxv, 2, 3.
 
                         III
 
Fair wisdom’s ways are paths of peace,
    And they that walk therein,
Shall reap the joys that never cease,
    And Christ shall be their king.
                                Psal. i, 1,2; Prov. iii, 7.
 
                         IV
 
God’s tender mercy brought thee here;
    Tost o’er the raging main;
In Christian faith thou hast a share,
    Worth all the gold of Spain.
                                        Psal. cii, 1, 3, 4.
 
                         V
 
While thousands tossed by the sea,
    And others settled down,
God’s tender mercy set thee free,
    From dangers that come down.
                                                   Death.
 
                          VI
 
That thou a pattern still might be,
    To youth of Boston town,
The blessed Jesus set thee free,
    From every sinful wound.
                                              2 Cor. v, 10.
 
                         VII
 
The blessed Jesus, who came down,
    Unvail’d his sacred face,
To cleanse the soul of every wound,
    And give repenting grace.
                                               Rom. v, 21.
 
                         VIII
 
That we poor sinners may obtain,
    The pardon of our sin;
Dear blessed Jesus now constrain,
    And bring us flocking in.
                                    Psal. xxiv, 6, 7, 8.
 
                         IX
 
Come you, Phillis, now aspire,
    And seek the living God,
So step by step thou mayst go higher,
    Till perfect in the word.
                                         Matth. vii, 7, 8.
 
                         X
 
While thousands mov’d to distant shore,
    And others left behind,
The blessed Jesus still adore,
    Implant this in thy mind.
                                            Psal. lxxxix, 1.
 
                         XI
 
Thou hast left the heathen shore;
    Thro’ mercy of the Lord,
Among the heathen live no more,
    Come magnify thy God.
                                      Psal. xxxiv, 1, 2, 3.
 
                         XII
 
I pray the living God may be,
    The shepherd of thy soul;
His tender mercies still are free,
    His mysteries to unfold.
                                         Psal. lxxx, 1, 2, 3.
 
                         XIII
 
Thou, Phillis, when thou hunger hast,
    Or pantest for thy God;
Jesus Christ is thy relief,
    Thou hast the holy word.
                                         Psal. xiii, 1, 2, 3.
 
                         XIV
 
The bounteous mercies of the Lord,
    Are hid beyond the sky,
And holy souls that love his word,
    Shall taste them when they die.
                                           Psal. xvi, 10, 11.
 
                         XV
 
These bounteous mercies are from God,
    The merits of His Son;
The humble soul that loves His word,
    He chooses for His own.
                                              Psal. xxxiv, 15.
 
                         XVI
 
Come, dear Phillis, be advis’d,
    To drink Samaria’s flood;
There nothing that shall suffice
    But Christ’s redeeming blood.
                                              John iv, 13, 14.
 
                         XVII
 
While thousands muse with earthly toys;
    And range about the street,
Dear Phillis, seek for heaven’s joys,
    Where we do hope to meet.
                                                Matth. vi, 33.
 
                         XVIII
 
When God shall send his summons down,
    And number saints together,
Blest angels chant, (triumphant sound),
    Come live with me forever.
                                               Psal. cxvi, 15.
 
                         XIX
 
The humble soul shall fly to God,
    And leave the things of time,
Start forth as ’twere at the first word,
    To taste things more divine.
                                              Matth. v, 3, 8.
 
                         XX
 
Behold! the soul shall waft away,
    Whene’er we come to die,
And leave its cottage made of clay,
    In twinkling of an eye.
                                    Cor. xv, 51, 52, 53.
 
                         XXI
 
Now glory be to the Most High,
    United praises given,
By all on earth, incessantly,
    And all the host of heav’n.
                                            Psal. cl, 6.

Source: America’s First Negro Poet: The Complete Works of Jupiter Hammon of Long Island (Associated Faculty Press Inc., 1983)

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Poet Jupiter Hammon b. 1711

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Christianity, God & the Divine, Poetry & Poets, Race & Ethnicity

Biography

Jupiter Hammon, the first published African American poet, was born into slavery at Henry Lloyd’s estate on Lloyd Neck, Long Island, New York. Hammon was purportedly allowed access to the manor library and was educated with the estate owner’s children, even working with Henry Lloyd in his business ventures. After Lloyd’s death, he lived with his son, Joseph Lloyd.
 
Hammon’s first work, the broadside An Evening Thought (also . . .

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SUBJECT Christianity, God & the Divine, Poetry & Poets, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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