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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Best Poem of Philip Freneau

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...

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