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POEMS OF PHILIP FRENEAU

VOLUME II




THE

POEMS OF PHILIP FRENEAU


POET OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


EDITED FOR

THE PRINCETON HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION


BY

FRED LEWIS PATTEE

OF THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE COLLEGE, AUTHOR OF
"A HISTORY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE"
"THE FOUNDATIONS OF ENGLISH LITERATURE" ETC.


VOLUME II


PRINCETON, N.J.
THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

1903



Copyright 1902 by
The Princeton University Library


_C S. Robinson & Co. University Press_
_Princeton N. J._




CONTENTS


PAGE

VOLUME II

PART II _Continued_

_The First Poetic Period. 1775-1781_

GEORGE THE THIRD'S SOLILOQUY 3
SIR HARRY'S INVITATION 7
DIALOGUE BETWEEN HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY AND MR. FOX 9
THE BRITISH PRISON SHIP 18
THE SPY 39

PART III

_Era of the Freeman's Journal. 1781-1790_

ON THE MEMORABLE VICTORY OF PAUL JONES 75
AN ADDRESS 81
A NEW-YORK TORY 84
TO LORD CORNWALLIS 86
A LONDON DIALOGUE 87
LORD CORNWALLIS TO SIR HENRY CLINTON 89
THE VANITY OF EXISTENCE 91
ON THE FALL OF GENERAL EARL CORNWALLIS 92
TO THE MEMORY OF THE BRAVE AMERICANS 101
ARNOLD'S DEPARTURE 103
PLATO TO THEON 104
PROLOGUE TO A THEATRICAL ENTERTAINMENT 108
RUINS OF A COUNTRY INN 110
THE ROYAL ADVENTURER 112
LORD DUNMORE'S PETITION 114
EPIGRAM 116
A SPEECH BY THE KING OF BRITAIN 117
RIVINGTON'S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT 120
LINES OCCASIONED BY MR. RIVINGTON'S NEW TITULAR TYPES 124
LINES ON MR. RIVINGTON'S NEW ENGRAVED KING'S ARMS 125
A PROPHECY, WRITTEN 1782 126
THE ARGONAUT OR LOST ADVENTURER 128
THE POLITICAL BALANCE 130
DIALOGUE AT HYDE PARK CORNER 140
ON THE LATE ROYAL SLOOP OF WAR GENERAL MONK 142
TRUTH ANTICIPATED 143
BARNEY'S INVITATION 147
SONG ON CAPTAIN BARNEY'S VICTORY 149
ON SIR HENRY CLINTON'S RECALL 153
SIR GUY CARLETON'S ADDRESS 156
SCANDANAVIAN WAR SONG 159
THE PROJECTORS 160
ON GENERAL ROBERTSON'S PROCLAMATION 162
A PICTURE OF THE TIMES 165
PRINCE WILLIAM HENRY'S SOLILOQUY 167
SATAN'S REMONSTRANCE 169
THE REFUGEES' PETITION TO SIR GUY CARLETON 172
SIR GUY'S ANSWER 173
TO A CONCEALED ROYALIST 174
TO THE CONCEALED ROYALIST, IN ANSWER TO A SECOND ATTACK 177
TO THE CONCEALED ROYALIST ON HIS FAREWELL 179
TO THE ROYALIST UNVEILED 181
TO SHYLOCK AP-SHENKIN 185
THE PROPHECY OF KING TAMMANY 187
RIVINGTON'S REFLECTIONS 190
NEW YEAR'S VERSES, JANUARY 1, 1783 197
NEW YEAR'S VERSES, JANUARY 8, 1783 198
HUGH GAINE'S LIFE 201
STANZAS OCCASIONED BY THE DEPARTURE OF THE BRITISH FROM
CHARLESTON, DECEMBER 14, 1782 214
ON THE BRITISH KING'S SPEECH 217
A NEW-YORK TORY'S EPISTLE 219
MANHATTAN CITY 223
VERSES OCCASIONED BY GENERAL WASHINGTON'S ARRIVAL IN
PHILADELPHIA 225
RIVINGTON'S CONFESSIONS 229
A NEWS-MAN'S ADDRESS 238
NEW YEAR'S VERSES, JANUARY 7, 1784 240
THE HAPPY PROSPECT 242
THE DYING INDIAN, TOMO-CHEQUI 243
LINES INTENDED FOR MR. PEALE'S EXHIBITION 246
THE HURRICANE 250
TO THE KEEPER OF THE KING'S WATER WORKS 252
LINES WRITTEN AT PORT ROYAL 253
TO SIR TOBY, A SUGAR PLANTER 258
ELEGY ON MR. ROBERT BELL 260
ON THE FIRST AMERICAN SHIP THAT EXPLORED THE ROUT TO INDIA 261
THE NEWSMONGER 263
SKETCHES OF AMERICAN HISTORY 269
THE PROGRESS OF BALLOONS 276
ON THE EMIGRATION TO AMERICA 280
THE SEASONS MORALIZED 282
ON THE DEATH OF COLONEL LAURENS 283
ON THE VICISSITUDES OF THINGS 284
PEWTER-PLATTER ALLEY IN PHILADELPHIA 287
ON THE DEATH OF GENERAL JOSEPH REED 288
A RENEGADO EPISTLE 290
THE AMERICAN SIBERIA 293
EPISTLE TO SYLVIUS 295
THE DEPARTURE, 1785 298
A NEWSMAN'S ADDRESS 301
LITERARY IMPORTATION 303
THE ENGLISHMAN'S COMPLAINT 305
THE WILD HONEY SUCKLE 306
ON A BOOK CALLED UNITARIAN THEOLOGY 307
TO ZOILUS 309
ON THE LEGISLATURE OF GREAT-BRITAIN PROHIBITING THE SALE OF
DR. RAMSAY'S HISTORY 312
THE DEATH SONG OF A CHEROKEE INDIAN 313
STANZAS WRITTEN AT THE FOOT OF MONTE SOUFFRIERE 314
ON THE CREW OF A CERTAIN VESSEL 317
THE BERMUDA ISLANDS 318
FLORIO TO AMANDA 319
PHILANDER: OR THE EMIGRANT 321
THE FAIR SOLITARY 325
AMANDA IN A CONSUMPTION 326
ELEGIAC LINES 328
THE INSOLVENT'S RELEASE 329
MAY TO APRIL 331
TO AN AUTHOR 332
TO MISFORTUNE 335
TO CRACOVIUS PUTRIDUS 336
SLENDER'S JOURNEY 338
THE HERMIT OF SABA 359
THE INDIAN BURYING GROUND 369
THE INDIAN STUDENT 371
THE MAN OF NINETY 374
ALCINA'S ENCHANTED ISLAND 376
HORACE, LIB. I. ODE 15 377
A SUBSCRIPTION PRAYER 379
EPISTLE TO THE PATRIOTIC FARMER 380
PALEMON TO LAVINIA 381
A NEWSMAN'S ADDRESS 383
ON THE PROSPECT OF A REVOLUTION IN FRANCE 385
TO A DOG 387
TO LYDIA 387
TO CYNTHIA 391
AMANDA'S COMPLAINT 392
HATTERAS 394
ST. CATHARINE'S 397
TO MR. CHURCHMAN 398
THE PROCESSION TO SYLVANIA 399
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS 401
SANGRADO'S EXPEDITION TO SYLVANIA 402
THE DISTREST THEATRE 404
TO MEMMIUS 406




PART II (_Continued_)

THE FIRST POETIC PERIOD

1775-1781




THE

POEMS OF PHILIP FRENEAU




GEORGE THE THIRD'S SOLILOQUY[1]


What mean these dreams, and hideous forms that rise
Night after night, tormenting to my eyes -
No real foes these horrid shapes can be,
But thrice as much they vex and torture me.
How cursed is he - how doubly cursed am I - 5
Who lives in pain, and yet who dares not die;
To him no joy this world of Nature brings,
In vain the wild rose blooms, the daisy springs.
Is this a prelude to some new disgrace,
Some baleful omen to my name and race! - 10
It may be so - ere mighty Cæsar died
Presaging Nature felt his doom, and sighed;
A bellowing voice through midnight groves was heard,
And threatening ghosts at dusk of eve appeared -
Ere Brutus fell, to adverse fates a prey, 15
His evil genius met him on the way,
And so may mine! - but who would yield so soon
A prize, some luckier hour may make my own?
Shame seize my crown ere such a deed be mine -
No - to the last my squadrons shall combine, 20
And slay my foes, while foes remain to slay,
Or heaven shall grant me one successful day.
Is there a robber close in Newgate hemmed,
Is there a cut-throat, fettered and condemned?
Haste, loyal slaves, to George's standard come, 25
Attend his lectures when you hear the drum;
Your chains I break - for better days prepare,
Come out, my friends, from prison and from care,
Far to the west I plan your desperate sway,
There 'tis no sin to ravage, burn, and slay, 30
There, without fear, your bloody aims pursue,
And shew mankind what English thieves can do.
That day, when first I mounted to the throne,
I swore to let all foreign foes alone.
Through love of peace to terms did I advance, 35
And made, they say, a shameful league with France.[2]
But different scenes rise horrid to my view,
I charged my hosts to plunder and subdue -
At first, indeed, I thought short wars to wage
And sent some jail-birds to be led by Gage,[3] 40
For 'twas but right, that those we marked for slaves
Should be reduced by cowards, fools, and knaves;
Awhile directed by his feeble hand,
Whose troops were kicked and pelted through the land,
Or starved in Boston, cursed the unlucky hour 45
They left their dungeons for that fatal shore.
France aids them now, a desperate game I play,
And hostile Spain will do the same, they say;
My armies vanquished, and my heroes fled,
My people murmuring, and my commerce dead, 50
My shattered navy pelted, bruised, and clubbed,
By Dutchmen bullied, and by Frenchmen drubbed,
My name abhorred, my nation in disgrace,
How should I act in such a mournful case!
My hopes and joys are vanished with my coin, 55
My ruined army, and my lost Burgoyne!
What shall I do - confess my labours vain,
Or whet my tusks, and to the charge again!
But where's my force - my choicest troops are fled,
Some thousands crippled, and a myriad dead - 60
If I were owned the boldest of mankind,
And hell with all her flames inspired my mind,
Could I at once with Spain and France contend,
And fight the rebels on the world's green end? -
The pangs of parting I can ne'er endure, 65
Yet part we must, and part to meet no more!
Oh, blast this Congress, blast each upstart State,
On whose commands ten thousand captains wait;
From various climes that dire Assembly came,
True to their trust, as hostile to my fame, 70
'Tis these, ah these, have ruined half my sway,
Disgraced my arms, and led my slaves astray -
Cursed be the day when first I saw the sun,
Cursed be the hour when I these wars begun:
The fiends of darkness then possessed my mind, 75
And powers unfriendly to the human kind.
To wasting grief, and sullen rage a prey,
To Scotland's utmost verge I'll take my way,
There with eternal storms due concert keep
And while the billows rage, as fiercely weep - 80
Ye highland lads, my rugged fate bemoan,
Assist me with one sympathizing groan,[4]
For late I find the nations are my foes,
I must submit, and that with bloody nose,
Or, like our James, fly basely from the state, 85
Or share, what still is worse - old Charles's fate.


[1] From the edition of 1809. The poem was first published in the May
number of the _United States Magazine_, 1779, and much revised and
enlarged for the edition of 1786, where it bore the title, "George III.
His Soliloquy for 1779." This earliest version, which began with the
startling line,

"O Damn this Congress, damn each _upstart_ state,"

was made up as follows, the numbering referring to the above version:

Lines 68-72, 47-64, followed by

"Yet rogues and savage tribes I must employ,
And what I cannot conquer will destroy."

Lines 23-32, followed by

"Ye daring hosts that croud Columbia's shore,
Tremble ye traitors, and exult no more;
Flames I shall hurl with an unceasing hand,
Till fires eternal blaze throughout your land,
And every dome and every town expires,
And traitors perish in the unfeeling fires;
But hold - though this be all my soul's desire,
Will my own towns be proof to _rebel_ fire.
If in revenge my raging foes should come,
And burn my London - it would strike me dumb,
To see my children and my queen in tears,
And these tall piles come tumbling round my ears,
Would to its inmost caverns fright my mind,
And stun ourself, the boldest of mankind."

Lines 73-76, followed by

"My future years I consecrate to woe,
For this great loss my soul in tears shall flow."

Ending with lines 77-82.

[2] Alluding to the peace of 1761 and the forced retirement of Pitt.

[3] "And sent a scoundrel by the name of Gage." - _Ed. 1786._

[4]

"O let the earth my rugged fate bemoan,
And give at least one sympathizing groan."
- _United States Magazine, 1779._




SIR HARRY'S INVITATION[5]


Come, gentlemen Tories, firm, loyal, and true,
Here are axes and shovels, and something to do!
For the sake of our king,
Come, labour and sing;
You left all you had for his honour and glory,
And he will remember the suffering Tory:
We have, it is true,
Some small work to do;
But here's for your pay
Twelve coppers a day,
And never regard what the rebels may say,
But throw off your jerkins and labour away.

To raise up the rampart, and pile up the wall,
To pull down old houses and dig the canal,
To build and destroy -
Be this your employ,
In the day time to work at our fortifications,
And steal in the night from the rebels your rations:
The king wants your aid,
Not empty parade;
Advance to your places
Ye men of long faces,
Nor ponder too much on your former disgraces,
This year, I presume, will quite alter your cases.

Attend at the call of the fifer and drummer,
The French and the Rebels are coming next summer,
And forts we must build
Though Tories are kill'd -
Then courage, my jockies, and work for your king,
For if you are taken no doubt you will swing -
If York we can hold
I'll have you enroll'd;
And after you're dead
Your names shall be read
As who for their monarch both labour'd and bled,
And ventur'd their necks for their beef and their bread.

'Tis an honour to serve the bravest of nations,
And be left to be hang'd in their capitulations -
Then scour up your mortars
And stand to your quarters,
'Tis nonsense for Tories in battle to run,
They never need fear sword, halberd, or gun;
Their hearts should not fail 'em,
No balls will assail 'em,
Forget your disgraces
And shorten your faces,
For 'tis true as the gospel, believe it or not,
Who are born to be hang'd, will never be shot.


[5] According to Frank Moore's _Songs and Ballads of the Revolution_,
this poem was first issued as a ballad-sheet in 1779. It was reprinted
in the _Freeman's Journal_, April 17, 1782, and was published in the
author's three editions. The text follows the edition of 1795.

Sir Henry Clinton was left in command of New York City, July 5, 1777,
when Howe started on his expedition for the capture of Philadelphia.
Freneau's poem indicates his treatment of the Tory refugees.




A DIALOGUE BETWEEN HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY AND MR. FOX[6]

Supposed to have passed about the time of the approach of the
combined fleets of France and Spain to the British coasts,
August, 1779.


_King G._

Good master Fox,[7] your counsel I implore,
Still George the third, but potent George no more.
By North conducted to the brink of fate,
I mourn my folly and my pride too late:
The promises he made, when once we met
In Kew's gay shades,[A] I never shall forget,
That at my feet the western world should fall,
And bow to me the potent lord of all -
Curse on his hopes, his councils and his schemes,
His plans of conquest, and his golden dreams,
These have allur'd me to the jaws of hell,
By Satan tempted thus Iscariot fell:
Divested of majestic pomp I come,
My royal robes and airs I've left at home,
Speak freely, friend, whate'er you choose to say,
Suppose me equal with yourself to-day:
How shall I shun the mischiefs that impend?
How shall I make Columbia[B] yet my friend?
I dread the power of each revolted State,
The convex East hangs balanc'd with their weight.
How shall I dare the rage of France and Spain,
And lost dominion o'er the waves regain?
Advise me quick, for doubtful while we stand,
Destruction gathers o'er this wretched land:
These hostile squadrons to my ruin led,
These Gallic thunders fill my soul with dread,
If these should conquer - Britain, thou must fall
And bend, a province, to the haughty Gaul:
If this must be - thou earth, expanding wide,
Unlucky George in thy dark entrails hide -
Ye oceans, wrap me in your dark embrace -
Ye mountains, shroud me to your lowest base -
Fall on my head, ye everlasting rocks -
But why so pensive, my good master Fox?[8]

[A] The royal gardens at Kew. - _Freneau's note._

[B] America, so called, by poetical liberty, from its
discoverer. - _Freneau's note._

_Fox_

While in the arms of power and peace you lay,
Ambition led your restless soul astray.
Possest of lands extending far and wide,
And more than Rome could boast in all her pride,
Yet, not contented with that mighty store,
Like a true miser, still you sought for more;
And, all in raptures for a tyrant's reign,
You strove your subjects dearest rights to chain:
Those ruffian hosts beyond the ocean sent,
By your commands on blood and murder bent,
With cruel hand the form of man defac'd,
And laid the toils of art and nature waste.
(For crimes like these imperial Britain bends,
For crimes like these her ancient glory ends)
These lands, once truest to your name and race,
Whom the wide ocean's utmost waves embrace,
Your just protection basely you deny'd,
Their towns you plunder'd, and you burnt beside.
Virginia's slaves, without one blush of shame,
Against their lords[9] you arm'd with sword and flame;
At every port your ships of war you laid,
And strove to ruin and distress their trade,
Yet here, ev'n here, your mighty projects fail'd;
For then from creeks their hardy seamen sail'd,
In slender barques they cross'd a stormy main,
And traffick'd for the wealth of France and Spain;
O'er either tropic and the line they pass'd,
And, deeply laden, safe return'd at last:
Nor think they yet had bow'd to Britain's sway,
Though distant nations had not join'd the fray,
Alone they fought your armies and your fleet,
And made your Clintons and your Howes retreat,
And yet while France stood doubting if to join,
Your ships they captur'd, and they took Burgoyne!
How vain is Briton's strength, her armies now
Before Columbia's bolder veterans bow;
Her gallant veterans all our force despise,
Though late from ruin[C] we beheld them rise;
Before their arms our strongest bulwarks fall,
They storm the rampart and they scale the wall;[D]
With equal dread, on either service sent,
They seize a fortress, or they strike a tent.
But should we bow beneath a foreign yoke,
And potent France atchieve the humbling stroke,
Yet every power, and even ourselves, must say,
"Just is the vengeance of the skies to-day:"
For crimes like ours dire vengeance[10] must atone;
Forbear your fasts, and let the skies[11] alone -
By cruel kings, in fierce Britannia bred,
Such seas of blood have first and last been shed,
That now, distrest for each inhuman deed,
Our turn has come - our turn has come to bleed:
Forbear your groans; for war and death array,
March to the foe, and give the fates their way.
Can you[12] behold, without one hearty groan,
The fleets of France superior to your own?
Can you behold, without one poignant pang,
The foreign conquests of the brave D'Estaing?[E]
North is your friend, and now destruction knocks,
Still take his counsel, and regard not Fox.

[C] The Year 1776. - _Freneau's note._

[D] Stoney Point, Powles Hook, &c. - _Ib._

[E] Grenada, &c. - _Ib._

_King G._

Ah! speak not thus - your words will break my heart,
Some softer counsel to my ears impart,
How can I march to meet the insulting foe,
Who never yet to hostile plains did go?
When was I vers'd in battles or in blood?
When have I fought upon the faithless flood?
Much better could I at my palace door
Recline and hear the distant cannons roar.
Generals and admirals Britain yet can boast,
Some fight on land, and some defend the coast;
The fame of these throughout the globe resounds,
To these I leave the glory and the wounds;
But since this honour for no blood atones,



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