Philip Freneau
(1752–1832 )


Philip Freneau Trembling I write my dream, and recollect
A fearful vision at the midnight hour;
So late, Death o'er me spread his sable wings,
Painted with fancies of malignant power!


Let others draw from smiling skies their theme,
And tell of climes that boast unfading light,
I draw a darker scene, replete with gloom,
I sing the horrors of the House of Night.


Stranger, believe the truth experience tells,
Poetic dreams are of a finer cast
Than those which o'er the sober brain diffused,
Are but a repetition of some action past.


Fancy, I own thy power—when sunk in sleep
Thou play'st thy wild delusive part so well
You lift me into immortality,
Depict new heavens, or draw the scenes of hell.


By some sad means, when Reason holds no sway,
Lonely I roved at midnight o'er a plain
Where murmuring streams and mingling rivers flow,
Far to their springs, or seek the sea again.


Sweet vernal May! though then thy woods in bloom
Flourished, yet nought of this could Fancy see,
No wild pinks blessed the meads, no green the fields,
And naked seemed to stand each lifeless tree. . . .

Read More: