Philip Freneau was born in New York of Huguenot ancestry in 1752, and died near Freehold, New Jersey, in 1832.
Well versed in the classics in Monmouth County under the tutelage of William Tennent, Philip entered Princeton as a sophomore in 1768, but the joy of the occasion was marred by his father's financial losses and death the year before. In spite of financial hardships, Philip's Scottish mother believed that her oldest of five children would graduate and join the clergy. Though he was a serious student of theology and a stern moralist all his life, Freneau found his true calling in literature. As his roommate and close friend James Madison recognized early, Freneau's wit and... more »
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Philip Freneau Poems
The Wild Honey-Suckle
Fair flower, that dost so comely grow, Hid in this silent, dull retreat, Untouched thy honied blossoms blow, Unseen thy little branches greet;
The Indian Burying Ground
In spite of all the learn'd have said; I still my old opinion keep, The posture, that we give the dead, Points out the soul's eternal sleep.
On A Honey Bee
Thou born to sip the lake or spring, Or quaff the waters of the stream, Why hither come on vagrant wing?-- Does Bacchus tempting seem--
On The Death Of Dr. Benjamin Franklin
Thus, some tall tree that long hath stood The glory of its native wood, By storms destroyed, or length of years, Demands the tribute of our tears.
To A New England Poet
Though skilled in Latin and in Greek, And earning fifty cents a week, Such knowledge, and the income, too, Should teach you better what to do:
The Republican Genius Of Europe
Emporers and kings! in vain you strive Your torments to conceal-- The age is come that shakes your thrones, Tramples in dust despotic crowns,
At Eutaw Springs the valiant died; Their limbs with dust are covered o'er; Weep on, ye springs, your tearful tide; How many heroes are no more!
To Mr. Blanchard, the Celebrated Aeronau...
FROM Persian looms the silk he wove No Weaver meant should trail above The surface of the earth we tread, To deck the matron or the maid.
To the Memory of the Brave Americans
AT Eutaw Springs the valiant died; Their limbs with dust are covered o'er- Weep on, ye springs, your tearful tide; How many heroes are no more!
Comments about Philip Freneau
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The Wild Honey-Suckle
Fair flower, that dost so comely grow,
Hid in this silent, dull retreat,
Untouched thy honied blossoms blow,
Unseen thy little branches greet;
...No roving foot shall crush thee here,
...No busy hand provoke a tear.
By Nature's self in white arrayed,
She bade thee shun the vulgar eye,
And planted here the gaurdian shade,
And sent soft waters murmuring by;
...Thus quietly thy summer goes,
...Thy days declinging to repose.
Smit with those charms, that must decay,
I grieve to see your future doom;
They died--nor were those flowers more gay,