Monday, June 15, 2020

The Ballad of John Newton


John Newton was the sea captain
Who wrote ‘Amazing Grace’.
He helped abolish slavery
But had another face.

Newton found God after a storm
Which almost sank his ship
As she returned to Liverpool
After a slaving trip.

Before then he’d been a trader
In the infamous trade,
When human lives didn’t matter
As money could be made.

One time Newton was sold as well,
To an African princess,
Who starved him and who laughed at him
And caused him great distress.

Freed by a friend of his father
He went back to the ships.
He got to captain his own brig
While making several trips.

He bought men, women and children,
And stowed them below deck.
He threw the dead over the side
And flogged and chained the rest.

The men he bought them from
Were African as well.
They didn’t care they’d turned black lives
Into a living hell.

Eventually he saw the light
And took another course.
BHe campaigned to end slavery
With William Wilberforce.

Newton became a clergyman
And a writer of hymns
But his past was always with him,
All his terrible sins.

So should we call him a hero,
Or forget time and place
And revile him for a slaver
And ban ‘Amazing Grace’?

PS: To those who say, ‘We don’t believe yer’,
I say, ‘Check out Wikipedia.’


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