Philip Freneau was one of the most well known authors in the history of early American Literature. Freneau focuses on the many social problems that concern him such as the beauty of nature and the uniqueness of it. Philip Freneau utilizes a language full of imagery. The analysis of “The Wild Honeysuckle” should convey and uncovers the significance of inclusion of nature. In order to comprehend Freneau poem, “The Wild Honeysuckle” we should look at the defining features of the flower. The species have sweetly scented bell shaped flowers that produce a sugary edible nectar.
The fruit on the sweet honeysuckle consists of berries and they can be in various colors such as red, blue or black. The berries comprise of several seeds and the berries can be slightly poisonous or edible. This flower grows wildly in isolated areas of land such as forests, swaps or hills. These key terms: sweet, fragrant, delicate and veiled are the essence of this particular poem. Philip Freneau conveys the character of the honeysuckle. In lines one through four Freneau describes the flower and address’s it. The first stanza is composed in cross rhymes. 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. ” (Freneau 1-6) He explains that the honeysuckle is beautiful but is veiled to the world. Furthermore, Freneau personifies the flower. He talks to the flower as if it clearly were a person. He expresses that the “little branches greet” (line 4) and hopes that there will be “tear”. (line 6) He is expressing that nature is alike with the wilderness and seclusion of the land.
It is almost expressing that the flower doesn’t exist because of its concealed identity and humans are leaving the flowers hidden and secluded . However, The “roving foot” and the “busy hand” (line5) are metaphors of the devastation of nature by mankind. In the second stanza, Freneau tries to convey the beautiful honeysuckle young and sweet while age is setting in quickly. “By Nature’s self in white arrayed, She bade thee shun the vulgar eye, And planted here the guardian shade, And sent soft waters murmuring by; Thus quietly thy summer goes, Thy days declining to repose. ” (Freneau 7-12)
In lines 7-9, it shows that the honeysuckle is protected and secluded but no matter how many actions you take, nature will take its course. Summer is proceeding and unfortunately you can not stop time thus the days are coming near to the end explains Freneau in lines 11-12 of the poem. The third stanza of the poem “The Wild Honeysuckle” says, “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. (Freneau 13-18)
Freneau really gets upset in this third stanza because he does not want the honeysuckle to follow the rules of nature. He is disappointed that the flower can not defeat death and will be caught by the frost of the autumn weather. These lines show that the flower is not hidden or alone anymore. Freneau includes foreshadowing of the approaching decay. In lines 19-24, the wild honeysuckle passes on and does not leave a trace as if it never lived. The last two lines show the fate of that 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. ” (Freneau 19-24) He is conveying that death means nothing indirectly and you can not get in the way of nature decaying. Life is short and it is actually frail just like the flower. Nature is used as a metaphor for life. In conclusion, Freneau uses nature and its beauty to emphasis his understandings. He tells us that our lives are also frail just as the wild honeysuckle. Cherish it while it lasts for by the change of each season it may dissipate only to become a desire. Therefore, you need to live every moment to the fullest without any regrets.