Thrown on my beam-ends. Driven to my last shift. A ship is said to be on her beam-ends when she is laid by a heavy gale completely on her beams or sides. Not unfrequently the only means of righting her in such a case is to cut away her masts.
(of a stag). That part of the head from which the horns spring. (Anglo-Saxon béam, a tree; the horns are called branches.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894