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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

On Imagination

By Phillis Wheatley (1753–1784)

[Born in Africa. Brought to America, and sold into slavery, 1761. Died in Boston, Mass., 1784. Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, by Phillis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England.—London, 1773.]

IMAGINATION! who can sing thy source,

Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?

Soaring through air to find the bright abode,

The empyreal palace of the thundering God,

We on thy pinions can surpass the wind

And leave the rolling universe behind.

From star to star the mental optics rove,

Measure the skies, and range the realms above;

There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,

Or with new worlds amaze the unbounded soul.