In the wrackes of Walsingam
Whom should I chuse
But the Queene of Walsingam
To be guide to my muse?
Then, thou Prince of Walsingam
Graunt me to frame
Bitter plaintes to rewe thy wronge
Bitter wo for thy name.
Bitter was it, oh to see
The sely sheepe
Murdred by the raveninge wolves
While the sheepharde did sleep.
Bitter was it, oh, to viewe
The sacred vyne
Whiles the gardiners plaied all close
Rooted up by the swine.
Bitter, bitter oh to behoulde
The grasse to growe
Where the walles of Walsingam
So stately did shewe.
Such were the worth of Walsingam
While she did stand
Such are the wrackes as now do shewe
Of that (so) holy lande.
Levell, levell with the ground
The Towres doe lye
Which with their golden, glitt'ring tops
Pearsed oute to the skye.
Where weare gates noe gates are nowe,
The waies unknowen,
Where the presse of freares did passe
While her fame far was blowen.
Oules do scrike where the sweetest himnes
Lately wear songe,
Toades and serpents hold their dennes
Where the palmers did throng.
Weep, weep O Walsingam,
Whose dayes are nightes,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
Holy deedes to dispites.
Sinne is where our Ladye sate,
Heaven turned is to helle;
Sathan sitte where our Lord did swaye,
Walsingam, oh, farewell!
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Walsingham Ballads page
versions of the ballad texts are widely available on the Internet, and in many printed
books : this one comes from Appendix II of H M Gillett, Walsingham (1946) : the
manuscript is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, in the Arundel collection, although this
may not have been written by the Earl of Arundel
The Arundel Ballad