Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VIRGIDEMIAE: BOOK 2: SATIRE: 7, by JOSEPH HALL

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VIRGIDEMIAE: BOOK 2: SATIRE: 7, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: In th'heauens vniuersall alphabet
Last Line: From thy first match: and liue a single man.
Subject(s): Art & Artists; Astrology & Astrologers

In th'heauens vniuersall Alphabet,
All earthly things so surely are foreset,
That who can read those figures, may foreshew
What euer thing shall afterwards ensue.
Faine would I know (might it our Artist please)
Why can his tell-troth Ephemerides
Teach him the weathers state so long beforne:
And not foretell him, nor his fatall horne,
Nor his deaths-day, nor no such sad euent,
Which he mought wisely labour to preuent?
Thou damned mock-art, and thou brainsick tale,
Of olde Astrology: where didst thou vaile
Thy cursed head thus long: that so it mist
The black bronds of some sharper Satyrist.
Some doting gossip mongst the Chaldee wiues,
Did to the credulous world thee first deriue:
And superstition nurs'd thee euer since,
And publisht in profounder Arts pretence:
That now who pares his nailes, or libs his swine,
But he must first take counsell of the signe.
So that the Vulgars count, for faire or foule,
For liuing or for dead, for sicke or whole:
His feare or hope, for plentie or for lacke,
Hangs all vpon his New-yeares Almanacke.
If chance once in the spring his head should ake:
It was foretold: Thus saies mine Almanacke.
In th'heauens High-streete are but a dozen roomes,
In which dwels all the world, past and to come:
Twelue goodly Innes they are, with twelue fayre signes,
Euer well tended by our Star-diuines.
Euery mans head Innes at the horned Ramme,
The whiles the necke the Black-buls guest became:
Th'arms by good hap, meet at the wrastling twinns,
Th'heart in the way at the Blew-lion innes.
The legs their lodging in Aquarius got,
That is Bridge street of the heauen, I wot.
The feete tooke vp the Fish with teeth of gold:
But who with Scorpio log'd, may not be told.
What office then doth the Star-gazer beare?
Or let him be the heauens Ostelere:
Or Tapsters some: or some be Chamberlaines,
To waite vpon the gueste they entertaine.
Hence can they reade, by vertue of their trade,
When any thing is mist where it was laide.
Hence they diuine, and hence they can deuise:
If their ayme faile the Stars to moralize.
Demon my friend once liuer-sicke of loue,
Thus learn'd I by the signes his griefe remoue.
In the blinde Archer first I saw the signe,
When thou receiu'dst that wilfull wound of thine:
And now in Virgo is that cruel mayde,
Which hath not yet with loue thy loue repaide.
But marke when once it comes to Gemini,
Straightway Fish-whole shall thy sicke liuer be.
But now (as th'angry Heauens seeme to threat)
Many hard fortunes, and disastres great:
If chance it come to wanton Capricorne,
And so into the Rams disgracefull horne,
Then learne thou of the vgly Scorpion,
To hate her for her foule abusion:
Thy refuge then the Ballance be of Right,
Which shall thee from thy broken bond acquite:
So with the Crab go backe whence thou began,
From thy first match: and liue a single man.

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