Philip Morin Freneau.

A collection of poems on American affairs and a variety of other subjects, chiefly moral and political : written between the year 1797 and the present time (Volume 1-2) online

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Online LibraryPhilip Morin FreneauA collection of poems on American affairs and a variety of other subjects, chiefly moral and political : written between the year 1797 and the present time (Volume 1-2) → online text (page 1 of 14)
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Author of Poems written during the Rewtytipnary

Then England come ! a sense of wrong requires
To meet with thirteen stars your thousand fires :
Through these stern times the conflict to maintain,
Or drown them, with your commerce, in the main.




At the Dramatic Repository,



I tt



Be it remembered, that on the seventh day of March, in the
thirty ninth year of the Independence of the United States of A-
merica, David Longworth of the said district, hath deposited in
this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as pro
prietor, in the words following, to wit :

A collection of Poems, on amtrican. offidrs, and a variety of other
subjects, ,cf>.iejly moral onti political written between the year
1797 and the present time. ## Phffip Freneau, author of Po
ems written during the revolutionary war, miscellanies, SfS. In
ftvovpfamqs, , . .

Tlien England come ?-*-& -sense* of wrong requires
To meet with thirteen stars your thousand fires
Through these stern times the conflict to maintain,
Or drown them, with your commerce, in the main.

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States,
entitled " an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing
the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and propri-*
etors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned." And
nlso to an Act entitled " an Act, supplementary to an Act, enti
tled an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the
copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors
of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending
the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etch
ing historical and other prints.

THERON RUDD, Clerk of the New-York District.

N. Van Riper, Printer, corner Greenwich and Vesey-streets.


*Fhe poetical pieces contained in these volumes were eeaipesfcg
at different periods, and on a variety of -occasions, between the
years 1797 and 1815, and are now presented to the public,
printed from the author's original, and corrected manuscripts,
and, it is hoped, in such a style of typography, as will not be un
acceptable to the reader Several of the performances, com
prised in this collection, and chiefly those on political subjects, and
other events of the times, have heretofore appeared in several
periodical publications of this and other STATES of the union.
It is presumed, however, that the poem? of this description will
not be the less acceptable to the friends of the muses, now they
are collected in these volumes ; with the advantage of having
at one view what were before scattered in those bulky vehicles
of information, whose principal object can be little more than to
record the common events and business of the day, and goon de
scend into comparative oblivion. Whatever may be the fate
of the work, they are respectfully offered to the world, in
hopes it may obtain a share of their attention, and particularly,
from .the friends of poetical composition ; and in a country where
it may be expected, the fine arts in general will, with the re
turn of peace, find that share of encouragement, which they seem
entitled to demand, in every nation that makes any pretensions
to refinement and civilization. It is only necessary to add. that
care has been taken te wc*te the typographical p^rt as correctfa
as possible-.



Addressed to Vie author, were sent to the publisher of these Volumes ,
by a lady, mho had read them in manuscript, together mitit
Poems, #c. formerly written during the Revolutionary n?r,
and published in Philadelphia, in 1809.

Deign to accept the humble fays
Your charming book inspired :
I send you nought but heart-self praise,
I read and I admired.

In colors bright you have pourtray'd
Each dear domestic scene
Where oft in happiest days I've stray'd,
A stranger then to pain.

And though to wander I've been doomM
Par from that much loved place,
With joy, its image I've resumed,
And all its beauties, newly bloomed,
Pleased, in thy page, I trace.

And oft beneath its shades I've woo'd like thee,

The sweet enchantress poetry.

In lonely groves have sought her soothing power

When sorrows deep have wrung my aching breast,

And sought her in the fragrant bower

When joy, with dimpled smiles my face has drest.

Yet, though for me she many an hour beguiled,
ntheeshe, more propitious, Enriled,

LINES, &C. v

Around thy favor'd brow her hand has twined

A sweetly variegated wreathe

Of every blooming flower combined,

Perfumed with every sweet the odorous spring doth breathe.

Whether with merry step and sprightly strain

You ramble o'er the rural plain,

And bring with cherry cheeks and russet gown

The blooming country girl to town ;

Or, pensive, seek the solemn shade

Where some lost friend in silence sleeps,

And as the soothing tribute's paid

Thy heart oppress'd with sad remembrance weeps.

Still, as thy sportive fancy roves

O'er smiling plains, through shady groves,

Now pleased the glowing landscape to design

And now the elegiac garland to entwine,

Still do we mark the true poetic fire,

And listen with delight, when Thyrsis strikes the lyre.

And, may you thus the generous task pursue,
Your theme is still anhackney'd still is new :
For you, shall fame a lasting wreathe prepare,
Who from oblivion would your country save,
And tell the world Columbia's sons are brave,



'New- Rochelle



Reflections on the gradual progress of nations from democrat -

ical states to despotic empires . . >3

To the rev. Samuel Stanhope Smith on the conflagration of

Nassau Hall, in New-Jersey
The m>w -Age, or truth triumphant
On the death of Catharine the second
On arriving in Souih Carolina, 1798
To the memory of Edward Rutledge v esq.
On superstition ....

The royal apprentice ; a London story
The Millennium to a ranting field orator
On the Federal city (Washington) 1797
The nautical rendezvous : written at Guadaloupe in 1800
The royal cockneys in America, 1797
Ode to the Americans, 1798
The modern Jehu, or nobility on four wheels
Jhe political rival suitors
Prefatory lines to a periodical publication
On a deceased lady, that had been both deaf and blind
On the projected war with the republic of France
The mistake ; a modern short story
On the morality of commerce
Lines written in a french nove}

Human frailty ....

The heroine of the revolution
On happiness resulting from virtue .

On the abuse of human ,->ower *

To a night fly, approaching a candle


Co the departure of Peter Porcupine . , 76

Ode to good fortune . 79

On a celebrated performer on the violin . . 81

inflections on dr. Perkins' metallic points . . 84

Publius to Pollia .... 37

The serious menace; or Botany Bay and Nootka Sound 91
On the uniformity and perfection of nature . . 04

Translation of Gray's ode on the grand chartreuse . 95
October's address . . 97

On the universality, and other attributes of the god of nature 99
Stanzas to an alien, &c. . . . 100

On a proposed negociation with the french republic . 103
On the religion of nature . . . 105

On the invasion of Rome in 1796 . . 106

On the royal coalition against republican liberty . 108

Ode for July the fourth, 1799 . . .110

The reward of innocence . . . 113

On the evils of humap life . . 1 15

The scurrilous scribe . . , 117

To the scribe of scribes . . 118

Belief and unbelief . . . .119

The republican festival . . . 121

Susanna's tomb . . . .123

On the war patrons in 1793 . 124

On hearing a political oration . . 123

On a proposed system of state consolidation . 120

Stanzas on a political projector . . 131

Nature's debt .... 133

New year's eve . . . .134

On passing by an old church yard , . 137

The order of the day . . . .138

On launching the frigate Constitution . . 141

The bethlehemite ; or, fair solitary . . .143

On the attempted launch of a frigate . . 144

On the free use of the lancet in yellow fever . 146

On the city encroachments OB the river Hudson . 147

SttUKas n tie pirate flUcfc beard's castle in et. TliOBHft 14'9


The hermit and the traveller . . . lit I
Stanzas to the memory of general Washington . 154
Stanzas upon the same subject with the preceding . 156
Stanzas on the extravagant encomiums on gen. Washington 158
Reflections on the mutability of things . . 161
Military recruiting, or address to a segar smoker . 163
On the establishment of a theatre, in New-York 165
On the Peak of Pico, one of the azore islands . 167
A bacchanalian dialogue . . .169
Stanzas on the aquatic devastations in the Island of Madeira 171
On the Peak of Teneriffe . . . . 177
Answer to a card of invitation at Teneriffe . 179
To Seniora Julia on leaving a dance . 182
Lines on Seniora Julia, of Port Oratava . 183
Lines on a rural nymph descending from the Madeira moun
tains - 180




Mantua vse misera nhnium yicina Cfcmonae ! VIRGIT.,

Oh ftital day ! when to the Atlantic shore,
European despots sent the doctrine o'er,
That man's vast race was born to lick the dust ;
Feed on the winds, or toil through life accurst ;
Poor and despised, that rulers might he great
And swell to monarchs, to devour the state.

Whence came these ills, or from what causes grew,
This vortex vast, that only spares the lew,
Despotic sway, where every plague combined,
J)istracts, degrades, and swallows up mankind ;
Takes from the intellectual sun its light,
And shrouds the world in universal night ?

Accuse not nature for the dreary scene,
Tint glooms her stage or hides her heaveu serene,
Sh<r\ equal still in ail her varif ways,
An equal blessing to the worla displays,


; <Tfee -suns- that <now v off Northern climates glow,
Will soo?i retire to melt Antarctic snow,
The seas she robb'd to form her clouds and rain,
Return in rivers to that source again ;
But man, wrong'd man* borne down, deceived and


Groans on through life, bewildered and perplex'd ;
No suns on him but suns of misery shine,
Now march'd to war, now grovelling in the mine.
Chain'd, fetterM, prostrate, sent from earth a slave,
To seek rewards hi worlds beyond the grave.

If in her general system, just to all,
We nature an impartial parent call,
Why did she not on man's whole race bestow,
Those fine sensations angels only know ,*
Who, sway'd by reason, with superior mind
In nature's state all nature's blessings find,
Which shed through ail, does all their race pervade,
In streams not niggard by a despot made ?

Leave ihis a secret in great nature's breast,
Confess that all her works tend to the best,
Or own that man's neglected culture here
Breeds all the mischiefs that we feel or fear.
In all, except the skill to rule her race,
Man, wise and skilful, gives each part its place ;
Each nice machine he plans, to reason true,
Adapting all things to the end in view,
But taught in this, the art himself to rule
His sense is folly, and himself a fool.


Where social strength resides, there rests, tis plain,
The power, mankind to govern and restrain :
This strength is not but in the social plan
Controling all, the common good of man,
That power concentred by the general voice,
In honest men* an honest people's choice,
With frequent change, to keep the patriot pure,
And from vain views of power the heart secure :
Here lies the secret, hid from Rome or Greece,
That holds a state in awe, yet holds in peace.

See through the world, in ages now retired,
Man foe to man, as policy required :
At some proud tyrant's nod what millions rose,
To extend their sway, and make a world their foes,
View Asia ravaged, Europe drench'd with blood,
In fends whose cause no nation understood.
The cause we fear, of so much misery sown,
Known at the helm of state, and there alone.

Left to himself, wherever man is found,
In peace he aims to walk life's little round ;
In peace to sail, in peace to till the soil,
Nor force false grandeur from a brother's toil.
All but the base, designing, scheming, few,
Who seize on nations with a robber's view,
With crowns and sceptres awe his dazzled eye,
And priests that hold the artillery of the sky ;
These, these, with armies, navies, potent grown,
Impoverish man and bid the nations groan.
These with pretended balances of states
Keep worlds at variance, breed eternal bates,


Make man the poor base slave of low design,

Degrade his nature to its last decline,

Shed hell's worst blots on his exalted race,

And make them poor and mean, to make them base.

Shall views like these assail our happy land,
Where embryo raonarchs thirst tor wide command,
Shall a whole nation's strength and lair renown,
Be sacrificed, to prop a tottering throne,, ages past, the world's great curse ha stood,
Has throve on plunder, and been ted on blood.
Americans ! will you control such views ?
'Speak tor you must you have no hour to lose.



Nassau-hill* at Prmcetnn, New-Jer
sey, on ihe rebuildirg tf that noble edifice, which
h.d been destroyed by fif.

This honor'd pile, so late in ashes laid,
Once more emerges, by your generous aid ;
Your aid, and their's, who through our vast domain,
Befriend the muses, and their cause sustain.

In flames involved, that stately ' ;brie fell,
Wr r re. long presiding, you deserved so well;
But, to the dust when you beheld it fall,
The honor'd, famed, majestic, NASSAU-HALL.


Not then repining in that darkened hour
Your native genius show'd its native power,
And plann'd the means to bid a structure rise
Pride of the arts, and favorite of the wise.
For this we saw you trace the unwearied mile
And saw the friends of Nassau on you smile ;
They to your efforts lent their generous aid,
And every honor to your genius paid,
To the firm patron of the arts they gave
What Alfred lavish'd, and what arts should have.

For this we saw you rove the southern waste
In our Columbia's milder climates placed,
Those happier shores, where Carolina proves
The friend of Princeton's academic groves,
Where Georgia owns the wreath to science due
And honor 'd science, genius, art, and you :
And Charleston every generous wish returned,
iSigh'd for the loss, and for her favorite mouriTd,
Proud of her sons, who by your cares are seen
Lights of the world, and pride of social man.
There Ramsay met you, esculapian sage,
The famed historian of a warring age,
His word gave vigor to your vast design,
And his strong efforts equall'd all but thine.

Nassau revived, from thence in time proceed
Chiefs, who shall empire sway, or legions leati.
Who, warm'd with all that philosophic glow
Which Greece, or Rome, or reasoning powers bestow,
Shall to mankind the friends and guardians be
Shall make them virtuous, and preserve them free.


From that lost pile, which, now to ashes turn'd^
The sae regretted and the muses mourn M,
Sprung, once, a race who firm to freedom's cause,
Repell'd oppression and despotic laws,
Unsceptred kinss, or one at least dismissed,
With half the lords and prefects on his list :
Such, early, here imbibed the sacred flame
Ti mt glanced from heaven, or from true science came :
With these enroll'd. be every honor done
To our firm statesman, patriot, MADISON,
Form'd to the purpose of a reasoning age,
To raise its genius, and direct its rage.

This tribute from a friendly heart receive,
O Smith ! which must your kind indulgence crave.
If half a stranger to the poet's lay,
It fails your just, your due reward to pay.


Jo reason's view the times advance
That other scenes to man disclose.
When nature to her children grants
A smiling season of repose ;

And better laws the wise will traer,
To curb the wicked of our race.


Those happy ages, years of,

Had many an ancient sage foretold,
Who, if they err'd or anght amiss,
Predicted of this age of gold,

It was, that crowns and courts and kings
Would still attend this change of things.

Strange thought, that they whose god is gain.

Who live by war, who thrive on blood,
Of half that live the curse the bane,
Could ever rule among the good :
These did some hateful fiend engage
To banish peace and vex the age.

Man to be happy, as he may

As far as nature meant him here,
Should yield to no despotic sway
Or systems of degrading fear ;

And sovereign man, new modell'd now.
To sovereign man alone should bow.

The civil despot, once destroyed,

W T ith all his base, tyrannic laws,

The mind of man will be employed

In aiding virtue and her cause :

Enlighten'd once, inform'd and free,
The mind admits no tyranny.

1 saw the blest benignant hour

Whon the worst plague of human race,

Dread superstition, lost her power,
And, with her patrons, black and base,


Fled to the darkest shades of hell,
And bade at least one world farewell,

Fanatic flames extinguished, all

The energy of thought will rise :
j see imposture's fabric fall,

Each wicked imp of falsehood dies ;
And sovereign truth prevails at last
To triumph o'er the errors pa^t

The moral beauties of the mind

If man would to a blessing turn,
And the great powers to him assign'd
Would cultivate, improve, adorn :
The sun of happiness, and peace
Would shine on earth and never cease,


Empress of all the Russias.

Confusion to that iron sway
Which bids the brute, not man, obey,
And dooms him to Siberian soil,
Chains, whips, and vassalage, and toil.

This female wolf, whom wolves did nurse,
So long of polar worlds the curse,


This Catharine, skill'd in royal arts,
To the dark world at last departs.

Ill style, the second of her name,
She to the crown by treason came;
To Fetor, drowsy, royal drone,
She gave a prison for a throne.

She would hare sent her tartar bands
To waste and ravage gallic lands.
She would have sent her legions o'er,
Columbia ! to invade your shore '

But, even in conquest, sfa foresaw
Destruction to despotic law ;
She K ar'd, in hordes returning home,
Tlut liberty would with them come.

She fear'd the savage from the den
Would see and learn the rights oi' men :
And hence, in time, destruction
To hell's vicegerents queen and king.

No thanks to her ! she fear'd her beasts,
Enslaved by kings, enslaved by priests,
Even if all freedom they o'er ran,
Would learn the dignity of man ;

And kept them home, and held them there,
Oppression's iron reign to bear ;
An nevrr meet a beam of light,
Involved in worse than Zembla's night,


Now she is dead, and Paul will rise
As fierce as she, but not as wise ;
He may his barbarous millions send,
He may the fall of France intend ;

But they who see with keener eye
Will see them faint, will see them fly ;
With hostile step will see them come
To turn their backs, or meet their doom.


A happy gale presents, once more,
The gay and ever verdant shore,
Which every pleasure will restore

To those who come again :
You, Carolina, from the seas
Emerging, claim all power to please,
Emerge with elegance and ease

From Neptune's briny main.

To find in you a happier home,
Retirement for the days to come,
From northern coasts you saw me roam,
jr By flattering fancy moved :
I came, and in your fragrant woods,
Your magic isles and gay abodes,
In rural haunts and passing floods
Review'd the scenes I loved,


- When sailing oft, from year to year
And leaving all I counted dear,
I found the happy country here

Where manly hearts abound ;
Where friendship's kind extended hand,
All social, leads a generous band ;
Where heroes, who redeem'd the land
Still live to be renown'd :

Who live to fill the trump of fame,
Or, dying, left the honor'd name
Which Athens had been proud to claim

From her historian's page

These with invading thousands strove,
These bade the foe their prowess prove,
And from their old dominions drove

The tyrants of the age.


Long, long may every good be thine,
Sweet country, named from Caroline,
Once seen in Britain's court to shine

The fairest of the fair :
Still may the wanderer find a home
Where'er thy varied forests bloom,
And peace and pleasure with him come

To take their station here.

Here Ashley, with his brother stream,
By Charleston gliding, all, may claim,
That ever graced a poet's dream
Or sooth'd a statesman's cares ;


She, seated near her foivsts blue,
Which winter's rigor nev. r knew,
With half an ocean in her view
Her shining turrets rears.

Here stately oaks of living green
Alone the extended coast are seen.
That rise beneath a heaven serene,

Unfading through the year....
In groves the tall Palmetto grows,
Its shades inviting to repose,
The fairest, loveliest scenes disclose....

All nature charms us here.

Dark wilds are thine, the yellow field,
And rivers by no frost congeal'd,
And, Ceres, all that you can yield

To deck the festive board ;
The snow white fleece, from pods that grow^,
A" very seed that Flora sows
The orange and the fig-tree shows

A paradise restored.

There rural love to bless the swains
In the bright eye of beauty reigns,
And brings a heaven upon tiie plains

From some dear Emma's charms ;
S<>mo Laura fair who haunts the mead,
Some Helen, whom the graces lead,
Whose charms the charms of her exceed

That set the world in arm*.


And distant from the sullen roar
Of ocean, bursting on the shore,
A region rises, valued more

Than all the shores possess :~
There lofty hills their range display,
Placed in a climate ever gay,
From wars and commerce far away,

Sweet nature's wilderness.

There all that art has taught to bloom,
The streams that from thf- mountain foaro ?
And thine, Eutaw, that distant roam,

Impart supreme delight :
The prospect to the western glade,
The ancient forest, undecay'd
All these the wildest scenes have made

That ever awed the sight.

There Congaree his torrent pours,
Valw/a, through the forest roars,
And black Catawba laves his shores

With waters from afar,
Till mingled with the proud Santec,
Their strength, united, finds the sea,
Through many a plain, by many a tree,

Then rush across the bar.

But, where all nature's fancies join,
Were but a single acre mine,
Blest with the cypress and the pine,
I would request no more ;


And leaving all that once could please,
The northern groves and stormy seas
I would not change such scenes as these
For all that men adore.


late governor of South Carolina.

Removed from life's uncertain stage,

In virtue firm, in honor clear
One of the worthies of our age,

RUTLEDGE ! resigns his station here.

Alike in arts of war and peace,

And form'd by nature to excel,
From early Rome and ancient Greece,

He modelled all his actions well.

When britons came, with chains to bind,

Or ravage these devoted lands,
He our firm league of freedom sign'd

And counsell'd how to break their bands,.

To the great cause of honor true,
He took his part with manly pride.


His spirit o'er these regions flevr,
The patriots' and the soldiers' guide.

In arts of peace, in war's bold schemes
Amongst our brightest stars he moved,

The Lees, the Moultries, Sutnters, Greenes
By all admired, by aH beloved.

A patriot of superior mould,

He dared all foreign force oppose,
Till, from a tyrant's ashes cold,

The mighty pile of freedom rose.

In process of succeeding days

When peace resumed her joyous reign,

With laurel wreaths and twining bays
He sought less active life again.

There, warm to plead the orphan's cause

From misery's eye to dry the tear,
He stood where justice guards the laws

At once humane, at once severe.

Twas not his firm enlighten'd mind,

So ardent in affairs of state ;
Twas not that he in armies shined

That made him so completely great :

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Online LibraryPhilip Morin FreneauA collection of poems on American affairs and a variety of other subjects, chiefly moral and political : written between the year 1797 and the present time (Volume 1-2) → online text (page 1 of 14)