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A Farewel to America

by Phillis Wheatley, 1773

To Mrs. S. W.

Adieu, New-England's smiling meads,
      Adieu, the flow'ry plain:
I leave thine op'ning charms, O spring,
      And tempt the roaring main.

in vain for me the flow'rets rise,
      And boast their gaudy pride,
While here beneath the northern skies
      I mourn for health deny'd.

celestial maid of rosy hue,
      O let me feel thy reign!
I languish till thy face I view,
      Thy vanish'd joys regain.

susannah mourns, nor can I bear
      To see the crystal show'r,
Or mark the tender falling tear
      At sad departure's hour;

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

in vain the feather'd warblers sing,
      In vain the garden blooms,
And on the bosom of the spring
      Breathes out her sweet perfumes,

while for Britannia's distant shore
      We sweep the liquid plain,
And with astonish'd eyes explore
      The wide-extended main.

lo! Health appears! celestial dame!
      Complacent and serene,
With Hebe's mantle o'er her Frame,
      With soul-delighting mein.

to mark the vale where London lies
      With misty vapours crown'd,
Which cloud Aurora's thousand dyes,
      And veil her charms around,

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

for thee, Britannia, I resign
      New-england's smiling fields;
To view again her charms divine,
      What joy the prospect yields!

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

thrice happy they, whose heav'nly shield
      Secures their souls from harms,
And fell Temptation on the field
      Of all its pow'r disarms!

Boston, May 7, 1773.

Published in Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
Tags: american revolution

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