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On Walsingham

attributed to Saint Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel


In the wrackes of Walsingham
     Whom should I chuse
But the Queen of Walsingham
     To be guide to my muse?

Then thou Prince of Walsingham
     Grant me to frame
Bitter plaintes to rewe they wrong
     Bitter wo for my name.

Bitter was it oh to see
     The seely sheepe
Murdered by the raveninge wolves
     While the sheephards did sleep.

Bitter was it oh to vewe
     The sacred vyne
While the gardiners plaied all close
     Rooted up by the swine.

Bitter, bitter oh to behould
     The grasse to growe
Where the walls of Walsingham
     So stately did shewe.

Such were the works of Walsingham
     Where she did stand
Such are the wrackes as noe do shewe
     Of that holy land.

Levell levell with the ground
     The towres doe lye
Which with their golden, gliitering tops
     Pearsed once to the sky.

Where weare gates no gates are nowe,
     The waies unknowen,
Where the press of peares did pass
     While her fame was far blowen.

Oules do scrike where the sweetest himnes
     Lately were songe,
Toades and serpents hold their dennes
     Where the palmers did throng.

Weepe, weepe O Walsingham,
     Whose dayes are nightes,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
     Holy deeds to dispites.

Sinne is where our Ladie sate,
     Heaven turned is to hell,
Sathan sittes where our Lord did swaye,
     Walsingham oh farewell.

Norfolk Poems




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