Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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The Tamed Lion

by John Newton

1 A Lion, though by nature wild,
The art of man can tame;
He stands before his keeper, mild,
And gentle as a lamb.


2 He watches, with submissive eye,
The hand that gives him food,
As if he meant to testify
A sense of gratitude.


3 But man himself, who thus subdues
The fiercest beast of prey,
A nature more unfeeling shows,
And far more fierce than they.


4 Though by the Lord preserv'd and fed,
He proves rebellious still;
And while he eats his Maker's bread,
Resists his holy will.


5 Alike in vain, of grace that saves,
Or threat'ning law, he hears;
The savage scorns, blasphemes, and raves,
But neither loves nor fears.


6 O Saviour! how thy wondrous pow'r
By angels is proclaim'd,
When in thine own appointed hour,
They see this lion tam'd.


7 The love thy bleeding cross displays,
The hardest heart subdues;
Here furious lions while they gaze,
Their rage and fierceness lose.


8 Yet we are but renew'd in part,
The lion still remains;
Lord, drive him wholly from my heart,
Or keep him fast in chains.

Read a letter of Newton's that describes the visit of a lion to Olney. This poem was based on the same incident.
Index to the Poems of John Newton
Index to the Writings of John Newton
Poetry Index

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