A Poem on the Death of Charles Eliot, aged 12 Months.
[This is a manuscript copy in Phillis Wheatley's hand.]

Thro' airy realms, he wings his instant flight,
To purer regions of celestial light;
Unmov'd he sees unnumber'd systems roll
Beneath his feet, the universal whole
In just succession run their destin'd round,
And circling wonders spread the dread profound;
Th' etherial now, and now the starry skies,
With glowing splendors, strike his wond'ring eyes.

The heav'nly legions, view, with joy unkown,
Press his soft hand, and seat him on the throne,
And smiling, thus: "To this divine abode,
"The seat of Saints, of Angels, and of GOD:
"Thrice welcome thou." -- The raptur'd babe replies,
"Thanks to my God, who snatch'd me to the skies,
"Ere vice triumphant had possess'd my heart;
"Ere yet the tempter claim'd my better part;
"Ere yet on sin's most deadly actions bent;
"Ere yet I knew temptation's dread intent;
"Ere yet the rod for horrid crimes I knew,
"Not rais'd with vanity, or press'd with wo [woe] ;
"But soon arriv'd to heav'n's bright port assign'd.
"New glories rush on my expanding mind;
"A noble ardor now, my bosom fires,
"To utter what the heav'nly muse inspires!"

Joyful he spoke -- exulting cherubs round
Clap loud their pinions, and the plains resound.
Say, parents! why this unavailing moan?
Why heave your bosoms with the rising groan?
To Charles, the happy subject of my song,
A happier world, and nobler strains belong.
Say, would you tear him from the realms above?
Or make less happy, frantic in your love?
Doth his beatitude increase your pain,
Or could you welcome to this earth again
The son of bliss? -- No, with superior air,
Methinks he answers with a smile severe,
"Thrones and dominions cannot tempt me there!" }

But still you cry, "O Charles! thy manly mind,
"Enwrap our souls, and all thy actions bind;
"Our only hope, more dear than vital breath,
"Twelve moons revolv'd, and sunk in shades of death!
"Engaging infant! Nightly visions give
"Thee to our arms, and we with joy recieve [receive] ;
"We fain would clasp the phantom to our breast,
"The phantom flies, and leaves the soul unblest!"

Prepare to meet your dearest infant friend
Where joys are pure, and glory's without end.

Phillis Wheatley.

Boston, Septr. 1st. 1772.


On the death of Charles Eliot.