On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770.

An Electronic Edition · Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)

Original Source: "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770." In. London: Archibald Bell, 1773.

Copyright 2004. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided

Full Colophon Information

On the Death of the Rev. MR. G E O R G E W H I T E F I E L D.* 1770.

HAIL, happy saint, on thine immortal throne, 1.
Possest of glory, life, and bliss unknown; 
We hear no more the music of thy tongue,  
Thy wonted auditories cease to throng.  
Thy sermons in unequall’d accents flow’d, 5.
And ev’ry bosom with devotion glow’d;  
Thou didst in strains of eloquence refin’d  
Inflame the heart, and captivate the mind.  
Unhappy we the setting sun deplore,  
So glorious once, but ah! it shines no more. 10.

Behold the prophet in his tow’ring flight! * 11.
He leaves the earth for heav’n’s unmeasur’d
And worlds unknown receive him from our sight.  
There Whitefield wings with rapid course his way,  
And sails to Zion through vast seas of day. * 15.
Thy pray’rs, great saint, and thine incessant cries  
Have pierc’d the bosom of thy native skies.  
Thou moon hast seen, and all the stars of light,  
How he has wrestled with his God by night.  
He pray’d that grace in ev’ry heart might dwell, 20.
He long’d to see America excel;  
He charg’d its youth that ev’ry grace divine  
Should with full lustre in their conduct shine;  
That Saviour, which his soul did first receive,  
The greatest gift that ev’n a God can give, 25.
He freely offer’d to the num’rous throng,  
That on his lips with list’ning pleasure hung.  

“Take him, ye wretched, for your only good,28.
“Take him ye starving sinners, for your food;  
“Ye thirsty, come to this life-giving stream,  
“Ye preachers, take him for your joyful theme;  
“Take him my dear Americans, he said, 32.
“Be your complaints on his kind bosom laid:  
“Take him, ye Africans, he longs for you,  
Impartial Saviour is his title due:  
“Wash’d in the fountain of redeeming blood,  
“You shall be sons, and kings, and priests to God.” 37.

Great Countess,* * we Americans revere 38.
Thy name, and mingle in thy grief sincere;  
New England deeply feels, the Orphans* mourn,  
Their more than father will no more return. *  

But, though arrested by the hand of death, 42.
Whitefield no more exerts his lab’ring breath,  
Yet let us view him in th’ eternal skies,  
Let ev’ry heart to this bright vision rise;  
While the tomb safe retains its sacred trust, * 46.
Till life divine re-animates his dust.  

*The Countess of Huntington, to whom Mr. Whitefield was Chaplain.* 1.

Full Colophon Information

Genre: Poetry
Subjects: Death
Period: 1750-1800
Location: New England
Format: verse

This text was first published in 1773.

The text of the present edition was prepared from and proofed against "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770." from Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (London: Archibald Bell, 1773). In the header and text, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value.