Loss of Good Name

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Loss of Good Name  (1576) 
by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
First printed in Paradyse of Dainty Devices, 1576, revised in the 1596 edition. Published by Grosart's in Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies' Library, Vol. IV (1872) as "His good name being blemished he bewaileth"

Fram'd in the front of forlorn hope past all recovery,
I stayless stand, to abide the shock of shame and infamy.
My life, through ling’ring long, is lodg’d in lair of loathsome ways;
My death delay’d to keep from life the harm of hapless days.
My sprites, my heart, my wit and force, in deep distress are drown’d;
The only loss of my good name is of these griefs the ground.
 
And since my mind, my wit, my head, my voice and tongue are weak,
To utter, move, devise, conceive, sound forth, declare and speak,
Such piercing plaints as answer might, or would my woeful case,
Help crave I must, and crave I will, with tears upon my face,
Of all that may in heaven or hell, in earth or air be found,
To wail with me this loss of mine, as of these griefs the ground.
 
Help Gods, help saints, help sprites and powers that in the heaven do dwell,
Help ye that are aye wont to wail, ye howling hounds of hell;
Help man, help beasts, help birds and worms, that on the earth do toil;
Help fish, help fowl, that flock and feed upon the salt sea soil,
Help echo that in air doth flee, shrill voices to resound,
To wail this loss of my good name, as of these griefs the ground.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.