Liberty and Peace

Author: Phillis Wheatley  | Date: 1784


LO! Freedom comes. Th’ prescient Muse foretold,

All Eyes th’ accomplish’d Prophecy behold:

Her Port describ’d, "She moves divinely fair,

"Olive and Laurel bind her golden Hair."

She, the bright Progeny of Heaven, descends,

And every Grace her sovereign Step attends;

For now kind Heaven, indulgent to our Prayer,

In smiling Peace resolves the Din of War.

Fix’d in Columbia her illustrious Line,

And bids in thee her future Councils shine.

To every Realm her Portals open’d wide,

Receives from each the full commercial Tide.

Each Art and Science now with rising Charms

Th’ expanding Heart with Emulation warms.

E’en great Britannia sees with dread Surprize,

And from the dazzling Splendors turns her Eyes!

Britain, whose Navies swept th’ Atlantic o’er,

And Thunder sent to every distant Shore;

E’en thou, in Manners cruel as thou art,

The Sword resign’d, resume the friendly Part!

For Galia’s Power espous’d Columbia’s Cause,

And new-born Rome shall give Britannia Law,

Nor unremember’d in the grateful Strain,

Shall princely Louis’ friendly Deeds remain;

The generous Prince th’ impending Vengeance eye’s,

Sees the fierce Wrong, and to the rescue flies.

Perish that Thirst of boundless Power, that drew

On Albion’s Head the Curse to Tyrants due.

But thou appeas’d submit to Heaven’s decree,

That bids this Realm of Freedom rival thee!

Now sheathe the Sword that bade the Brave attone

With guiltless Blood for Madness not their own.

Sent from th’ Enjoyment of their native Shore

Ill-fated- never to behold her more!

From every Kingdom on Europa’s Coast

Throng’d various Troops, their Glory, Strength and Boast.

With heart-felt pity fair Hibernia saw

Columbia menac’d by the Tyrant’s Law:

On hostile Fields fraternal Arms engage,

And mutual Deaths, all dealt with mutual Rage:

The Muse’s Ear hears mother Earth deplore

Her ample Surface smoake with kindred Gore:

The hostile Field destroys the social Ties,

And every-lasting Slumber seals their Eyes.

Columbia mourns, the haughty Foes deride,

Her Treasures plunder’d, and her Towns destroy’d:

Witness how Charlestown’s curling Smoaks arise,

In sable Columns to the clouded Skies!

The ample Dome, high-wrought with curious Toil,

In one sad Hour the savage Troops despoil.

Descending Peace and Power of War confounds;

From every Tongue celestial Peace resounds:

As for the East th’ illustrious King of Day,

With rising Radiance drives the Shades away,

So Freedom comes array’d with Charms divine,

And in her Train Commerce and Plenty shine.

Britannia owns her Independent Reign,

Hibernia, Scotia, and the Realms of Spain;

And great Germania’s ample Coast admires

The generous Spirit that Columbia fires.

Auspicious Heaven shall fill with fav’ring Gales,

Where e’er Columbia spreads her swelling Sails:

To every Realm shall Peace her Charms display,

And Heavenly Freedom spread her golden Ray.

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Chicago: Phillis Wheatley, Liberty and Peace Original Sources, accessed July 23, 2024,

MLA: Wheatley, Phillis. Liberty and Peace, Original Sources. 23 Jul. 2024.

Harvard: Wheatley, P, Liberty and Peace. Original Sources, retrieved 23 July 2024, from