Sea Dog Doggerel:
A 21st Century Shadow.
And Bristol fashion’:
With river, canal and turnpike,
Cloth could be carried down to Bristol, bound for
Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Benin, Angola, Gambia.
Of No Return:
The Middle Passage,
Nevis, Barbados, Jamaica,
Virginia, Haiti and South Carolina.
They fill the hold with sugar, cotton, tobacco:
Commodities that still cast a ship-shape shadow.
Did this nation’s
18th century boom time come?
And the British Empire,
But the most lucrative of all
Was the shark’s feeding frenzy.
Hidden within the
Long decayed ledger books
Of Bristol merchants at their quayside,
Stroud Scarlet bought and sold in the damp
Teasled mill air of the tenter hooked Five Valleys,
Before exchanging use and life for human life and death
On the Middle Passage for the West Indies and the Americas.