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Philip Freneau

(1752 - 1832)

Philip Freneau
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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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Quotations

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  • ''And long shall timorous fancy see
    The painted chief, and pointed spear,
    And Reason's self shall bow the knee
    To shadows and delusions here.''
    Philip Freneau (1752-1832), U.S. poet, sailor, journalist. The Indian Burying Ground (l. 37-40). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richa...
  • In spite of all the learned have said,
    I still my old opinion keep;
    The posture, that we give the dead,
    Points out the soul's eternal sleep.
    Not so the ancients of these la...
    Philip Freneau (1752-1832), U.S. poet, sailor, journalist. The Indian Burying Ground (l. 1-8). WTO. New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richar...
  • ''The flowers that did in Eden bloom;
    Unpitying frosts, and Autumn's power
    Shall leave no vestige of this flower.''
    Philip Freneau (1752-1832), U.S. poet, sailor, journalist. The Wild Honeysuckle (l. 16-18). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard El...
  • ''At first thy little being came:
    If nothing once, you nothing lose,
    For when you die you are the same;
    The space between, is but an hour,
    The frail duration of a flower.''
    Philip Freneau (1752-1832), U.S. poet, sailor, journalist. The Wild Honeysuckle (l. 20-24). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard El...
  • ''Fair flower, that dost so comely grow,
    Hid in this silent, dull retreat,''
    Philip Freneau (1752-1832), U.S. poet, sailor, journalist. The Wild Honeysuckle (l. 1-2). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellm...
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