Thanks to your advocacy efforts on our behalf, we're happy to report that the recently passed Omnibus Spending Bill includes a very small increase in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities! While our work is not over with regards to the upcoming 2018 budget to be passed in the fall, the Omnibus Spending Bill represents an endorsement of the important work that the humanities do for our communities. These funds will continue to support our work of providing free access to authoritative content about Virginia's history and culture.
Phillis Wheatley wrote the following poem and enclosed it in a
prefatory letter to George
Washington, dated October 26, 1775. Washington sent the letter and poem
to Joseph Reed, who later arranged to have them published in the
Pennsylvania Magazine: or, American Monthly Museum in April 1776.
CElestial choir! enthron'd in realms of light, Columbia's scenes of glorious toils I write. While freedom's cause her anxious breast alarms, She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms. See mother earth her offspring's fate bemoan, And nations gaze at scenes before unknown! See the bright beams of heaven's revolving light Involved in sorrows and the veil of night! The goddess comes, she moves divinely fair, Olive and laurel binds her golden hair: Wherever shines this native of the skies, Unnumber'd charms and recent graces rise. Muse! bow propitious while my pen relates How pour her armies through a thousand gates: As when Eolus heaven's fair face deforms, Enwrapp'd in tempest and a night of storms; Astonish'd ocean feels the wild uproar, The refluent surges beat the sounding shore; Or thick as leaves in Autumn's golden reign, Such, and so many, moves the warrior's train. In bright array they seek the work of war, Where high unfurl'd the ensign waves in air. Shall I to Washington their praise recite? Enough thou know'st them in the fields of fight. Thee, first in place and honours,—we demand The grace and glory of thy martial band. Fam'd for thy valour, for thy virtues more, Hear every tongue thy guardian aid implore! One century scarce perform'd its destined round, When Gallic powers Columbia's fury found; And so may you, whoever dares disgrace The land of freedom's heaven-defended race! Fix'd are the eyes of nations on the scales, For in their hopes Columbia's arm prevails. Anon Britannia droops the pensive head, While round increase the rising hills of dead. Ah! cruel blindness to Columbia's state! Lament thy thirst of boundless power too late. Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side, Thy ev'ry action let the goddess guide. A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine, With gold unfading, Washington! be thine.