The Wild Honey Suckle
by Philip Freneau
Fair flower, that dost so comely grow,
Hid in this silent,dull retreat,
Untouched thy honeyed 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 vulger eye,
And planted here the guardian shade,
And sent soft waters murmuring by;
Thus quietly thy summer goes,
Thy days declining to repose.
Smit with those chams,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 flower.
In this poem the poet expressed a keen awareness of the loveliness and transience of nature.1.He not only meditated on mortality but also celebrated nature.It implies that life and death are inevitable law of nature, "the wild honey suckle"is Philip Freneau's most widely read natureal lyric with the theme of transience.2.The poem express the poet's view about the writing material of American writors.In the author's opinion, the origin land in America was fiiled with beauty and myth,which could compete with the rilics of Europ.It revealed on the basis of American beauty, the American writor can produce good works.
The central image is a nativewild flower,which makes a drastic difference from elite flower images typical of tradition english poems. The poem showed strong feelings for the natural beauty,which was the characteristic of romantic poets.
The poem was written in regular 6-line tetrameter stanzas,rhyming:ababcc .The structure of the poem is regular,so it has the neoclassic quality of proportion and balance. Alliteration ,assonance,masculine rhyme used in the poem also produce musical or melodious and harmonious,which matches the beautyof the flower,the beauty of poem is partly ambodied in the effects created through changes in the rhythm. The poem contains iambics trochaics and spondee. The arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables suggests the transience of the life of the flower and the poet's emotional change.the poem is full of sensuous images such as fair flower visual image,comely grow kinasthetic image and honeyed blossoms olfactory image.All the images make us feel pity for the beautiful flower which has only a short life. The line"the sapace is but an hour"contains a hyperbole stressing and transience of life. The tone of the poem is both sentimental and optimistic.