"A Funeral POEM on the Death of C. E. an Infant of Twelve Months"
By Phillis Wheatley

  • Transcription, correction, editorial commentary, and markup by Students of Marymount University, James West, Amy Ridderhof
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Sources

London : Printed for A. Bell, 1773Page images are sourced from two copies of the first edition housed in the Library of Congress.Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative, 1999Online SGML text from the University of Michigan HTI. SGML markup edited to conform to LiC parameters, including changes to element and attribute case, ligatures, and other special html characters.

Editorial Statements

Research informing these annotations draws on publicly-accessible resources, with links provided where possible. Annotations have also included common knowledge, defined as information that can be found in multiple reliable sources. If you notice an error in these annotations, please contact lic.open.anthology@gmail.com.

Original spelling and capitalization is retained, though the long s has been silently modernized and ligatured forms are not encoded.

Hyphenation has not been retained, except where necessary for the sense of the word.

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Materials have been transcribed from and checked against first editions, where possible. See the Sources section.


Citation

Wheatley, Phillis. "A Funeral POEM on the Death of C. E. an Infant of Twelve Months", Printed for A. Bell, 1773, pp 69-71. Literature in Context: An Open Anthology. https://anthologydev.lib.virginia.edu/work/Wheatley/wheatley-funeral. Accessed: 2020-04-05T22:33:55.351Z
69 A Funeral POEM on the Death of C. E. an Infant of Twelve Months. 1THROUGH airy roads he wings his instant flight 2To purer regions of celestial light; 3Enlarg'd he sees unnumber'd systems roll, 4Beneath him sees the universal whole, 5Planets on planets run their destin'd round, 6And circling wonders fill the vast profound. 7Th' ethereal now, and now th' empyreal skies 8With growing splendors strike his wond'ring eyes: 9The angels view him with delight unknown, 10Press his soft hand, and seat him on his throne; 11Then smiling thus. "To this divine abode, 12"The seat of saints, of seraphs, and of God, 13"Thrice welcome thou." The raptur'd babe replies, 14"Thanks to my God, who snatch'd me to the skies, 70 15"E'er vice triumphant had possess'd my heart, 16"E'er yet the tempter had beguil'd my heart, 17"E'er yet on sin's base actions I was bent, 18"E'er yet I knew temptation's dire intent; 19"E'er yet the lash for horrid crimes I felt, 20"E'er vanity had led my way to guilt, 21"But, soon arriv'd at my celestial goal, 22"Full glories rush on my expanding soul." 23Joyful he spoke: exulting cherubs round 24Clapt their glad wings, the heav'nly vaults resound. 25Say, parents, why this unavailing moan? 26Why heave your pensive bosoms with the groan? 27To Charles, the happy subject of my song, 28A brighter world, and nobler strains belong. 29Say would you tear him from the realms above 30By thoughtless wishes, and prepost'rous love? 31Doth his felicity increase your pain? 32Or could you welcome to this world again 33The heir of bliss? with a superior air 34Methinks he answers with a smile severe, 35"Thrones and dominions cannot tempt me there." 71 36But still you cry, "Can we the sigh forbear, 37"And still and still must we not pour the tear? 38"Our only hope, more dear than vital breath, 39"Twelve moons revolv'd, becomes the prey of death; 40"Delightful infant, nightly visions give 41"Thee to our arms, and we with joy receive, 42"We fain would clasp the Phantom to our breast, 43"The Phantom flies, and leaves the soul unblest." 44To yon bright regions let your faith ascend, 45Prepare to join your dearest infant friend 46In pleasures without measure, without end.

Footnotes