George Washington, Poet
George Washington has a long list of accomplishments. He is best known as the first President of the United States of America, but what he accomplished before the election is perhaps of far greater importance. President Washington led the colonies in a victory over the British, and presided over the Philadelphia Convention.
As a young man, it is thought that George Washington wrote many poems during his free-time, but only two are known to still be in existence. Both of these poems are found in a 6x3 ¼ inch notebook that he kept while on a surveying expedition for Lord Thomas Fairfax in Virginia's Northern Neck.
The first poem is unfinished. The poem was written to a young woman whom Washington courted, named Frances Alexander. The poem salutes her beauty, her mind, and stresses the painful unrequited love. The poem is made up of twelve lines, but the emotion make up for the length.
The second poem is about his love but focuses more on the pain. The inspiration for the poem is not known, but the emotions shown are deep and caring. This poem is also twelve lines.
The poems show great promise for an amateur poet by showing great emotion, solid rhythm, and great meaning.
Some scholars have noted that these poems may not have been written by President Washington, but simply copied from an unknown poetry book. The truth of the matter may never be known, but what we do know is that Washington showed great interest in poetry at a young age. Well, enough interest to at least copy the poems into his diary.
Below are two poems found in President George Washington's childhood diary. They may or may not have been written by the President.Un-named poem no. 1
From your bright sparkling Eyes, I was undone;2 Rays, you have, more transparent than the sun, Amidst its glory in the rising Day, None can you equal in your bright array; Constant in your calm and unspotted Mind; Equal to all, but will to none Prove kind, So knowing, seldom one so Young, you'l Find Ah! woe's me that I should Love and conceal, Long have I wish'd, but never dare reveal, Even though severely Loves Pains I feel; Xerxes that great, was't free from Cupids Dart, And all the greatest Heroes, felt the smart.Un-named poem no. 2
Oh Ye Gods why should my Poor Resistless Heart Stand to oppose thy might and Power At Last surrender to cupids feather'd Dart And now lays Bleeding every Hour For her that's Pityless of my grief and Woes And will not on me Pity take Ill sleep amongst my most Inviterate Foes And with gladness never with to Wake In deluding sleepings let my Eyelids close That in an enraptured Dream I may In a soft lulling sleep and gentle repose Possess those joys denied by DayBack to George Washington biography