Sonnet XXXVIII by Edmund Spenser
ARion, when through tempests cruel wracke,
He forth was thrown into the greedy seas:
through the sweet musick which his harp did make
allu'rd a Dolphin him from death to ease.
But my rude musick, which was wont to please
some dainty eares, cannot with any skill,
the dreadfull tempest of her wrath appease,
nor moue the Dolphin from her stubborne will,
But in her pride she dooth perseuer still,
all carelesse how my life for her decayse:
yet with one word she can it saue or spill,
to spill were pitty, but to saue were prayse.
Chose rather to be praysd for dooing good,
then to be blam'd for spilling guiltlesse blood.