previous next


[180] life is reflected in the tone of her sentimental elegies, epistles, descriptive poems, and religious lyrics, in the style of the English poets of the first half of the century. Her daughter, Mrs. Margaretta Faugeres, who published her own poems with those of her mother in 1793, shows in her poem on the Hudson the growing attention to native scenery. The inquiring reader may find all the imitative qualities of our early lyric poets if he will consult the very inclusive Original poems, serious and entertaining, of Paul Allen (1775-1826), whose facile and graceful verse is indicative of English influences all the way from Prior to Cowper.

Aside from the lyrics of Freneau, the two original strains in our early lighter verse are the humorous poems of Thomas Green Fessenden and of Royall Tyler,1 and the nature lyrics of Alexander Wilson. Fessenden contributed humorous poems of New England country life to Dennie's Farmer's weekly Museum, and these were afterwards published in his Original poems. To this same magazine and also to Dennie's Port Folio, Royall Tyler contributed pictures and studies in verse of American environment and character which are worth all the pretentious imitations of his contemporaries. The lyrics scattered throughout the pages of Alexander Wilson's Ornithology and afterwards printed in his collected poems merit more attention than they have heretofore received. Wilson was scientist and poet enough to celebrate the osprey, the Baltimore bird, the hummingbird, and the bluebird in true nature lyrics which, together with those of Freneau, are not unworthy forerunners of Bryant's.

Philip Freneau was born in New York of Huguenot ancestry in 1752, and died near Freehold, New Jersey, in 1832. His long and eventful life was spent in a variety of pursuits. After he graduated from Princeton in 1771, he was author, editor, government official, trader, and farmer. As regards the genesis of his poems, two facts in his life are especially important. His newspaper work encouraged a fatal production of the satirical and humorous verse that gave him reputation; and his trading voyages inspired poems descriptive of the scenery of the southern islands, and made possible what is perhaps his most original and distinctive work, his naval ballads.

1 See also Book II, Chaps. II, II, and VI.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
New England (United States) (1)
Huguenot (New York, United States) (1)
Freehold, N. J. (New Jersey, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Alexander Wilson (3)
Philip Freneau (3)
Royall Tyler (2)
Thomas Green Fessenden (2)
Joseph Dennie (2)
Margaretta Faugeres (1)
Cowper (1)
W. C. Bryant (1)
Paul Allen (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1832 AD (1)
1826 AD (1)
1793 AD (1)
1775 AD (1)
1771 AD (1)
1752 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: