Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

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 Volume 1.21 This View’s Poetry July 1, 2002 


Sometimes credited with having been America’s first professional journalist, Philip Freneau was one of the very few significant American poets flourishing before the mid-nineteenth century. He acted as a blockade runner during the Revolutionary War, and was imprisoned for a time by the British in New York Harbor. A friend of Madison and Jefferson, he played a significant role in the formation of party politics in the new country.

    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, fam’d 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.

   
         
    Philip Freneau (1752-1832)    
   

The Literature of the United States (1953) Volume One p. 404
ed. Walter Blair, et al.

   

    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 evening 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.

   
         
    Philip Freneau (1752-1832)    
   

The Literature of the United States (1953) Volume One pp. 404f
ed. Walter Blair, et al.

   

    On the Uniformity and Perfection of Nature    
         
   

On one fix’d point all nature moves,
Nor deviates from the track she loves;
Her system, drawn from reason’s source,
She scorns to change her wonted course.

Could she descend from that great plan
To work unusual things for man,
To suit the insect of an hour —
This would betray a want of power,

Unsettled in its first design
And erring, when it did combine
The parts that form the vast machine,
The figures sketch’d on nature’s scene.

Perfections of the great first cause
Submit to no contracted laws,
But all-sufficient, all-supreme,
Include no trivial views in them.

Who looks through nature with an eye
That would the scheme of heaven descry,
Observes her constant, still the same,
In all her laws, through all her frame.

No imperfection can be found
In all that is, above, around, —
All, nature made, in reason’s sight
Is order all, and all is right.

   
         
    Philip Freneau (1752-1832)    
    The Literature of the United States (1953) Volume One p. 409
ed. Walter Blair, et al.

   

    Triad    
         
    From the Silence of Time, Time’s Silence borrow.
In the heart of To-day is the word of To-morrow.
The Builders of Joy are the Children of Sorrow.
   
         
    William Sharp (1856-1902)    
    Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse p. 400    



 Volume 1.21 This View’s Poetry July 1, 2002 





The View from the Core, and all original material, © E. L. Core 2002. All rights reserved.

Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”