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Best Famous Philip Freneau Poems

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Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem


 GOD save the Rights of Man!
Give us a heart to scan
Blessings so dear:
Let them be spread around
Wherever man is found,
And with the welcome sound
Ravish his ear.
Let us with France agree, And bid the world be free, While tyrants fall! Let the rude savage host Of their vast numbers boast-- Freedom's almight trust Laughs at them all! Though hosts of slaves conspire To quench fair Gallia's fire, Still shall they fail: Though traitors round her rise, Leagu'd with her enemies, To war each patriot flies, And will prevail.
No more is valor's flame Devoted to a name, Taught to adore-- Soldiers of Liberty Disdain to bow the knee, But ateach Equality To every shore.
The world at last will join To aid thy grand design, Dear Liberty! To Russia's frozen lands The generous flame expands: On Afric's burning sands Shall man be free! In this our western world Be Freedom's flag unfurl'd Through all its shores! May no destructive blast Our heaven of joy o'ercast, May Freedom's fabric last While time endures.
If e'er her cause require!-- Should tyrants e'er aspire To aim their stroke, May no proud despot daunt-- Should he his standard plant, Freedom will never want Her hearts of oak!

Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

On Retirement

 A HERMIT'S house beside a stream
 With forests planted round,
Whatever it to you may seem
More real happiness I deem
 Than if I were a monarch crowned.
A cottage I could call my own Remote from domes of care; A little garden, walled with stone, The wall with ivy overgrown, A limpid fountain near, Would more substantial joys afford, More real bliss impart Than all the wealth that misers hoard, Than vanquished worlds, or worlds restored-- Mere cankers of the heart! Vain, foolish man! how vast thy pride, How little can your wants supply!-- 'Tis surely wrong to grasp so wide-- You act as if you only had To triumph--not to die!
Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

To the Memory of the Brave Americans

 Under General Greene, in South Carolina,
  who fell in the action of September 8, 1781

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!

If in this wreck or ruin, they
 Can yet be thought to claim a tear,
O smite your gentle breast, and say
 The friends of freedom slumber here!

Thou, who shalt trace this bloody plain,
 If goodness rules thy generous breast,
Sigh for the wasted rural reign;
 Sign for the shepherds, sunk to rest!

Stranger, their humble graves adorn;
 You too may fall, and ask a tear;
'Tis not the beauty of the morn
 That proves the evening shall be clear.
-- They saw their injured country's woe; The flaming town, the wasted field; Then rushed to meet the insulting foe; They took the spear--but left the shield.
Led by thy conquering genius, Greene, The Britons they compelled to fly; None distant viewed the fatal plain, None grieved, in such a cause to die-- But, like the Parthian, famed of old, Who, flying, still their arrows threw, These routed Britons, full as bold, Retreated, and retreating slew.
Now rest in peace, our patriot band, Though far from nature's limits thrown, We trust they find a happier land, A brighter sunshine of their own.
Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

To Mr. Blanchard the Celebrated Aeronaut in America

 Nil mortalibus ardui est
  Caelum ipsum petimus stultitia

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.
But you ambitious, have design'd With silk to soar above mankind:-- On silk you hang your splendid car And mount towards the morning star.
How can you be so careless--gay: Would you amidst red lightnings play; Meet sulphurous blasts, and fear them not-- Is Phaeton's sad fate forgot? Beyond our view you mean to rise-- And this Balloon, of mighty size, Will to the astonish'd eye appear, An atom wafted thro' the air.
Where would you rove? amidst the storms, Departed Ghosts, and shadowy forms, Vast tracks of aether, and, what's more, A sea of space without a shore!-- Would you to Herschell find the way-- To Saturn's moons, undaunted stray; Or, wafted on a silken wing, Alight on Saturn's double ring? Would you the lunar mountains trace, Or in her flight fair Venus chase; Would you, like her, perform the tour Of sixty thousand miles an hour?-- To move at such a dreadful rate He must propel, who did create-- By him, indeed, are wonders done Who follows Venus round the sun.
At Mars arriv'd, what would you see!-- Strange forms, I guess--not such as we; Alarming shapes, yet seen by none; For every planet has its own.
If onward still, you urge your flight You may approach some satellite, Some of the shining train above That circle round the orb of Jove.
Attracted by so huge a sphere You might become a stranger here: There you might be, if there you fly, A giant sixty fathoms high.
May heaven preserve you from that fate! Here, men are men of little weight: There, Polypheme, it might be shown, Is but a middle sized baboon.
-- This ramble through, the aether pass'd, Pray tell us when you stop at last; Would you with gods that aether share, Or dine on atmospheric air?-- You have a longing for the skies, To leave the fogs that round us rise, To haste your flight and speed your wings Beyond this world of little things.
Your silken project is too great; Stay here, Blanchard, 'till death or fate To which, yourself, like us, must bow, Shall send you where you want to go.
Yes--wait, and let the heav'ns decide;-- Your wishes may be gratified, And you shall go, as swift as thought, Where nature has more finely wrought, Her Chrystal spheres, her heavens serene; A more sublime, enchanting scene Than thought depicts or poets feign.
Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

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, The flowers that did in Eden bloom; .
Unpitying frosts, and Autumn's power .
Shall leave no vestige of this flower.
From morning suns and evenign dews 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.

Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

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,
And bids the sceptre fail.
In western worlds the flame began: From thence to France it flew-- Through Europe, now, it takes its way, Beams an insufferable day, And lays all tyrants low.
Genius fo France! pursue the chace Till Reason's laws restore Man to be Man, in every clime;-- That Being, active, great, sublime Debas'd in dust no more.
In dreadful pomp he takes his way O'er ruin'd crowns, demolish'd thrones-- Pale tyrants shrink before his blaze-- Round him terrific lightenings play-- With eyes of fire, he looks then through, Crushes the vile despotic crew, And Pride in ruin lays.
Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

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--
Did he, for you, the glass prepare?--
Will I admit you to a share?

Did storms harrass or foes perplex,
Did wasps or king-birds bring dismay--
Did wars distress, or labours vex,
Or did you miss your way?--
A better seat you could not take
Than on the margin of this lake.
Welcome!--I hail you to my glass: All welcome, here, you find; Here let the cloud of trouble pass, Here, be all care resigned.
-- This fluid never fails to please, And drown the griefs of men or bees.
What forced you here, we cannot know, And you will scarcely tell-- But cheery we would have you go And bid a glad farewell: On lighter wings we bid you fly, Your dart will now all foes defy.
Yet take not oh! too deep a drink, And in the ocean die; Here bigger bees than you might sink, Even bees full six feet high.
Like Pharaoh, then, you would be said To perish in a sea of red.
Do as you please, your will is mine; Enjoy it without fear-- And your grave will be this glass of wine, Your epitaph--a tear-- Go, take your seat in Charon's boat, We'll tell the hive, you died afloat.
Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

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.
Not so the ancients of these lands -- The Indian, when from life releas'd Again is seated with his friends, And shares gain the joyous feast.
His imag'd birds, and painted bowl, And ven'son, for a journey dress'd, Bespeak the nature of the soul, Activity, that knows no rest.
His bow, for action ready bent, And arrows, with a head of stone, Can only mean that life is spent, And not the finer essence gone.
Thou, stranger, that shalt come this way.
No fraud upon the dead commit -- Observe the swelling turf, and say They do not lie, but here they sit.
Here still lofty rock remains, On which the curious eye may trace, (Now wasted, half, by wearing rains) The fancies of a older race.
Here still an aged elm aspires, Beneath whose far -- projecting shade (And which the shepherd still admires The children of the forest play'd! There oft a restless Indian queen (Pale Shebah, with her braided hair) And many a barbarous form is seen To chide the man that lingers there.
By midnight moons, o'er moistening dews, In habit for the chase array'd, The hunter still the deer pursues, The hunter and the deer, a shade! 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.
Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

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.
The pile, that took long time to raise, To dust returns by slow decays: But, when its destined years are o'er, We must regret the loss the more.
So long accustomed to your aid, The world laments your exit made; So long befriended by your art, Philosopher, 'tis hard to part!-- When monarchs tumble to the ground, Successors easily are found: But, matchless FRANKLIN! what a few Can hope to rival such as YOU, Who seized from kings their sceptered pride, And turned the lightning darts aside.
Written by Philip Freneau | Create an image from this poem

On the Universality and Other Attributes of the God of Nature

 ALL that we see, about, abroad,
What is it all, but nature's God?
In meaner works discovered here
No less than in the starry sphere.
In seas, on earth, this God is seen; All that exist, upon Him lean; He lives in all, and never strayed A moment from the works He made: His system fixed on general laws Bespeaks a wise creating cause; Impartially He rules mankind And all that on this globe we find.
Unchanged in all that seems to change, Unbounded space is His great range; To one vast purpose always true, No time, with Him, is old or new.
In all the attributes divine Unlimited perfectings shine; In these enwrapt, in these complete, All virtues in that centre meet.
This power doth all powers transcend, To all intelligence a friend, Exists, the greatest and the best Throughout all the worlds, to make them blest.
All that He did He first approved, He all things into being loved; O'er all He made He still presides, For them in life, or death provides.