On The Death Of Dr. Benjamin Franklin

Thus, some tall tree that long hath stood
The glory of its native wood,
By storms destroyed, or length of years,
Demands the tribute of our tears.

The pile, that took long time to raise,
To dust returns by slow decays:
But, when its destined years are o’er,
We must regret the loss the more.

So long accustomed to your aid,
The world laments your exit made;
So long befriended by your art,
Philosopher, ’tis hard to part!–

When monarchs tumble to the ground,
Successors easily are found:
But, matchless FRANKLIN! what a few
Can hope to rival such as YOU,
Who seized from kings their sceptered pride,
And turned the lightning darts aside.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Philip Freneau's poem On The Death Of Dr. Benjamin Franklin


  1. Camaria Thomas says:

    The poet believes that Dr. Franklin Benjamin is inimitable.

  2. Lance Lim says:

    Benjamin Franklin is like a tree that Americans always find refuge in times of conflicts. The poem is sad because it compares Benj to a dying tree that has withstood all phenomena. Great men are hard to find a successor. Most of the time the great ones die earlier than evil men.

  3. Foy says:

    I believe, Christian, the he referred not to the butterfly, but to a sovereign ruler of a kingdom, otherwise known as a “monarch”.

  4. Christian A. Shanley says:

    Dear Mr. Philip Freneau I liked the poem you wrote “On The Death Of Dr. Benjamin Franklin. But why do you have stuff on a Monarch butterfly when it’s suppose to be about Benjamin Franklin.

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