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EPITAPH IN BALLADE FORM, by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: O brother men that live when we have end
Last Line: But praye godde to absolve us of our doome.
Alternate Author Name(s): Montcorbier, Francois De
Subject(s): Capital Punishment; Death; God; Prayer; Hanging; Executions; Death Penalty; Dead, The

O BROTHER men that live when we have end,
Let not your hearts 'gainst us be hardenynge;
For if on us your pitie ye doe spend,
Likewyse to you shall Godde be pityinge.
Here maye ye see our six lean trunks a-swynge,
And our dead flesh that, livynge, we o'er-fed
Plucked out bye bits and rottynge toe to head,
While we, bare bones, to ash and dust be come.
From our ill hap let noe man's mirth be bred,
But praye Godde to absolve us of our doome.

If, brother men, we call, beyond amend,
Disdayne us not for our sore trespassynge,
For well ye knowe howe manye men doe wend
On evil wayes thro' witless wanderynge;
But intercession for our soules doe brynge
Untoe the Holye Virgin's Sonne instead,
That He of His deare grace have still toe shed
Withal wherby to save us from Hell's fume.
Let noe man nowe misuse us, being dead,
But praye Godde to absolve us of our doome.

The rayne hath bleached us all from end to end;
The sunne hath scorched us to a blackened strynge
Mag-pyes and crowes our hollowe eyes doe rend,
Or snatch what hair bye beard or browe doth clynge.
And ever without cease we swaye and swynge,
Like monstrous spindles ever flutteréd,
By the wind's shiftye humours sore bestéd,
Peck't close bye all the birds that us consume
As anye thimble. Ware the waye we tread,
But praye Godde to absolve us of our doome.

Prince Jesus, Lord of all, or live or dead,
O save us from infernal serfage dread,
That have nor help nor holdynge in Hell's gloome.
Men, mock not what in bitter truth is said,
But praye Godde to absolve us of our doome.

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