'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land, Taught my benighted soul to understand That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too: Once I redemption neither sought nor knew. Some view our sable race with scornful eye, "Their colour is a diabolic die." Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain, May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.
Phillis Wheatley - 1753-1784
An Hymn to the Evening
Soon as the sun forsook the eastern main The pealing thunder shook the heav’nly plain; Majestic grandeur! From the zephyr’s wing, Exhales the incense of the blooming spring, Soft purl the streams, the birds renew their notes, And through the air their mingled music floats. Through all the heav’ns what beauteous dies are spread! But the west glories in the deepest red: So may our breasts with every virtue glow, The living temples of our God below! Fill’d with the praise of him who gives the light, And draws the sable curtains of the night, Let placid slumbers soothe each weary mind, At morn to wake more heav’nly, more refin’d; So shall the labors of the day begin More pure, more guarded from the snares of sin. Night’s leaden sceptre seals my drowsy eyes, Then cease, my song, till fair Aurora rise.