By Phillis Wheatley

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

Page breaks have been retained. Catchwords, signatures, and running headers have not. Where pages break in the middle of a word, the complete word has been indicated prior to the page beginning.

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


Wheatley, Phillis. "An HYMN to HUMANITY", Printed for A. Bell, 1773, pp 96-97. Literature in Context: An Open Anthology. http://anthologydev.lib.virginia.edu/work/Wheatley/wheatley-hymn-humanity. Accessed: 2021-12-03T13:16:49.196Z

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An HYMN to HUMANITY. To S. P. G. Esq; I. 1LO! for this dark terrestrial ball 2Forsakes his azure-paved hall 3A prince of heav'nly birth! 4Divine Humanity behold. 5What wonders rise, what charms unfold 6At his descent to earth! II. 7The bosoms of the great and good 8With wonder and delight he view'd, 9And fix'd his empire there: 10Him, close compressing to his breast, 11The sire of gods and men address'd, 12"My son, my heav'nly fair! 96 III. 13"Descend to earth, there place thy throne; 14"To succour man's afflicted son 15"Each human heart inspire: 16"To act in bounties unconfin'd 17"Enlarge the close contracted mind, 18"And fill it with thy fire." IV. 19Quick as the word, with swift career 20He wings his course from star to star, 21And leaves the bright abode. 22The Virtue did his charms impart; 23Their G--y! then thy raptur'd heart 24Perceiv'd the rushing God: V. 25For when thy pitying eye did see 26The languid muse in low degree, 27Then, then at thy desire 28Descended the celestial nine; 29O'er me methought they deign'd to shine, 30And deign'd to string my lyre. 97 VI. 31Can Afric's muse forgetful prove? 32Or can such friendship fail to move 33A tender human heart? 34Immortal Friendship laurel-crown'd 35The smiling Graces all surround 36With ev'ry heav'nly Art.