Poem, written by Levi Frisbie, in praise of Wheelock and the Grand Design, 1768 May 15

Author Frisbie, Levi

Date15 May, 1768

ms number768315.1

abstractLong verse in couplets praises Wheelock and his plan to christianize the Indians.

handwritingHandwriting is small and slanting, yet largely clear and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear.

inkBlack ink varies in intensity. There are some random ink dots and splatters.

noteworthyOn two recto, Frisbie quotes the Alexander Pope poem "Messiah." On two verso, an editor, possibly 19th-century, has added the (erroneous) note: "Probably David Macclure who graduated in 1769." This poem was enclosed with a brief letter of the same date (manuscript 768315.2), which is not included in the Occom Circle.

signatureThe document is unsigned.

Modernized Version Deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.

Persistent Identifier
To the Rev. Dr. Wheelock
Most worthy Sir, with modesty and fear, I crave the honour of your listening Ear, To my weak muse who in her humble rhyme, Attempts a Subject lofty and sublime: Pardon the rashness of my youthful Lays, Whilst I would try to celebrate the praise, Of your grand Scheme your great and noble Plan, Well worthy of the most illustrious Man — . —
Sure bounteous Heaven inspired your pious Mind, With fervent Love and pity to Mankind, With generous Concern inflamed your Soul, And moved your heart with Sorrow to condole, The dismal Lot of thousands of Mankind Who under Satans Tyranny confined, Bow to his Sceptre tremble at his nod, Prostrate and before him confess him God.
Thus Adams tawny Sons you saw enslaved You longed and wished and prayed they might be saved From hells black Tyrant and their piteous case, And made the subjects of triumphant Grace. The Devil you beheld with stern Command, Control the Natives of this fertile Land; That roaring Monster hideous fierce and fell, Led Millions of these Ignorant Souls to Hell,
But God propitious moved you to contrive, A glorious Scheme whereby he might deprive, Satan of all his vassals and throw down His hellish Kingdom and infernal Crown. The Plan first laid was small in infant state The means were slender though the End was great, But the great God beholding from the Skies Smiled on thine attempt and bid it grow and rise, Overruled it by his gracious Providence His mighty Power becomes its strong Defence. By Day he guards it and by night protects, Blesses its interests its concerns directs: It flourishes and blooms beneath his hands. Its fame illustrious sounds to foreign Lands. The Good, and wise adore its guardian Lord And, Gold and Silver to its help afford, Their pious hearts unite and all combine, To forward and uphold the grand design. As when the ant tugs at his ponderous Load and strives to bear it through the narrow Road, The neighbouring Train view from their humble Dome, Run to his help and bring the Burden home. So here your Friends with pleasure, and surprise behold your great and glorious Enterprise Inflamed with Zeal for such a heavenly plan with Joy afford it all the help they can
And pleased behold the Seminary rise Blessed by the almighty Father of the Skies,
Old Satan saw and was with motive filled The serpent hissed and the great Dragon yelled Fearing his power and kingdom would be lost, He marshals all his black infernal host His Servants all with execrable Lies Reproach the Author and his enterprise Mocking revile him with malicious Taunts, "Ay, Gold he covets Money's all he wants, "Cloaked under this pretext, he craves an alms, "He is a Priest, they all have itching Palms, "Their greatest care is how they may grow rich, "So, blindly lead the blind into the Ditch. "What will he christianize this savage Brood? "He'd sooner much make Devils Saints of God, "What give him Money? I'll not give a groat, "I'd rather give him Powder Guns and shot "I'd rather ravage all their barbarous plains, "And cut their throats, and dash out all their Brains.
But God beholds old Satan and his Tools, Laughs at their Rage, their Envy ridicules: Brings down their Pride their Malice he restrains And binds the Devil in his iron Chains Satan is baffled and his hosts give way The glorious Plan is wafted over the Sea Its fame resounds in Britains prosperous isle Her Sons rejoice and all her Daughters smile Her noblest Heros deign to patronize The heavenly Scheme the glorious enterprise Great George who rules his Realm with mild command Freely contributes with a liberal hand Nor thinks it far beneath his Dignity To look upon it with propitious Eye While Peers and peasants imitate their Lord Orphans, and Widows each their Mites afford. All but the Devil and his Imps combine To prosecute the great, and good Design They bless the Lord with most exalted Lays The noble Founder shares the second praise
And now great Sir review the small foundation, Which first you laid; to what exalted Station, Your School has rose by the Almighty smiles. And by your Labours, and unwearied Toils. No doubt your Soul rejoices in the Lord And calmly rests upon his glorious word That he'll one day fulfill your great desire Affect the End to which you most aspire. The great Jehovah's been your constant Guide Removed your fears, and all your wants supplied In spite of hell, and all infernal Arms, your Institution stands amidst the Storms
of Envy Malice Rage and Enmity. As ponderous Rocks amidst the foaming sea Break the Loud Billows when the Ocean raves, And Scorn the vengeance of the threatening waves.
Now pleased behold what blissful prospects rise Gladden our hearts and bless our longing Eyes, The Glorious Sun of righteousness displays. His genial influence his life-giving Rays Begins to illumine the benighted Part of savage Lands, and bow their Stubborn hearts To the Messiah's mild, and gentle Sway; Scatters the Gloom, and chases clouds away. Shall not the gracious promise be fulfilled? And the Immanuel's Glory be revealed, When Christ adorned with Light, and righteousness Shall the most distant barbarous Lands possess, Rule over the Nations with auspicious Power Exalt his Saints his Foes in wrath devour.
Hail happy Day by ancient Bards foretold When heathen Nations shall with Joy behold Fresh roses bloom, and sudden verdure rise Where the tall groves stand towering to the Skies When barren deserts overgrown with wood, Afford a peaceful mansion for our God. When Rocks shall triumph and the Mountains sing The Flood rejoice and vales with music ring. As sang illustrious Pope of deathless fame who tuned his Anthem to Messiah's Name. "When Lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant Mead "And Boys on flowery Banks the tigers lead "The Steer, and lion at one Crib shall meet, "And harmless Serpents lick the Pilgrims feet In lofty forests, Haunts of savage beasts, Where Birds of prey build, up their artful nests Lilies shall spring; fresh verdure green appear, And plenteous harvests crown the smiling year. Tall Ranks of Corn shall meet our wondering Eyes, and fill our Joyful hearts with new surprise, Magnific Temples Sacred to our God adorn the Place where smoky huts [illegible] late stood. Soon may the Lord to this glad Day give birth and joy and gladness fill the extended Earth May Grace and Glory spread from shore to shore and savage barbarous yells be heard no more
ye tawny Mortals leave your wild resorts Your dismal Powwows and your cruel Sports. Forebear to range the woods in quest of Prey your Arrows break, your weapons cast away Messiah woos you with his boundless Love, yield to his Sceptre, and his Laws approve, Give over all your necromantic Schemes Delusive Visions and fantastic Dreams, Forebear to worship the black hosts of Hell Fell Rage, and Malice from your Minds expel Instead of bloody songs, your voices raise In heavenly Anthems and Messiahs praise
Thus the old Serpents Plots you shall confound His tottering throne shall tumble to the Ground His ruined Kingdom with Destruction filled Shall force him with disgrace to quit the field. Darkness and Clouds shall all be chased away Gods glorious Truth and Grace their Light display, and fill your Souls with bright resplendent Rays And tune your Heart to sing eternal praise. Such heart reviving Times such blissful years Great Sir, will recompense your heaviest Cares.
Now may that God who rules unnumbered Spheres Attend propitious to your ardent prayers Grant you the fervent wishes of your Soul Extend his Truth divine from Pole to pole. And when Cold Death shall close your swimming Eyes And your blessed Soul triumphant mount the Skies, May Heaven receive you with this Salutation, Come favourite Soul possess thy great Salvation. With never ceasing Songs come join our host And praise the Father, Son, and holy Ghost. There may you see throned in eternal Light, Each soul that by your Means has shunned the Spite of Satan and his black infernal Race, And gained the Realms of everlasting bliss.
May every Savage you to Christ have won Sparkle like Stars in your eternal Crown. Finis
A. Poem presented in a Letter from Philo-musaYale College May 15th 1768