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Once he had a jug like this, though not for serving beer,Not squat, and made of finest porcelain, butRough, red clay, with slim and graceful neck,It kept the water cool inside his mother's hut.
Once he watched vessels, boats, not pirate shipsWith western flags and canvas sails a-quiver,But small fishermen's crafts, which floated, bobbed and weavedAmong the rushes on the Niger River.
He danced once, not to sound of whip crack,Limbo-ing across the deck from out a stinking hold,But to the voice of talking drums, he poundedBlack earth, with nimble feet, carefree and bold.
He worked in fields, not on sugar-cane plantations,Where lacerated black backs fester in the sun,But among the palms, where digging, planting yams,They spiced the air with laughter, talk and song.
Once he had a name, not borrowed from a stranger,Not one with meaning long forgotten or unknown,But a title held throughout his generations,And one that he was proud to call his own.
He had a body, not a cherub's, softly plump and white,With flowing hair tumbling down - instead,He had a face and body, black and sinewy,And hair curled tight, and close around his head.
One day he read a poem, and wondered at the handWhich wrote "'twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land."
FREE TOUR: The influence of Ancient Greek and Roman art has appeared repeatedly in British art and design over centuries.
Mrs Lucy Wallace, Lady Duff Gordon as she became, transformed her business from a modest home-based dressmakers into the leading international fashio…
We urgently need your help to raise the £5,000,000 it will cost for the V&A to acquire four Renaissance angels cast for the tomb of Cardinal Wolsey and later in the possession of Henry VIII.