Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet XXXVIII. Arion, when, through tempest’s cruel wrack
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
ARION, when, through tempest’s cruel wrack,
He forth was thrown into the greedy seas;
Through the sweet music, which his harp did make,
Allur’d a dolphin him from death to ease.
But my rude music, which was wont to please        5
Some dainty ears, cannot, with any skill,
The dreadful tempest of her wrath appease,
Nor move the dolphin from her stubborn will,
But in her pride she doth perséver still,
All careless how my life for her decays:        10
Yet with one word she can it save or spill.
To spill were pity, but to save were praise!
  Choose rather to be praised for doing good,
  Than to be blam’d for spilling guiltless blood.

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