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The feete tooke up the Fish, with teeth of gold;
But who with Scorpio lodg’d, may not be told“.
What office then doth the Star-Gazer beare?
Or let him be the heaven's Ostelere ;
Or Tapsters, some'; or some be Chamberlaines,
To waite upon the guests they entertaine.
Hence can they reade, by vertue of their trade,
When any thing is mist, where it was laide.
Hence they divine, and hence they can devise,
If their ayme faile, the Stars to moralize.
Demon, my friend, once liver-sicke of love,
Thus learn’d I by the signes his griefe remove 43 :
In the blinde Archer first I saw the signe,
When thou receiv’dst that wilful wound of thine;
And now in Virgo is thaw cruell mayd,
Which hath not yet with love thy love repaide :
But marke when once it comes to Gemini,

traightway fish-whole shall thy sicke-liver be :
But now (as th' angry heavens seeme to threat
Many hard fortunes and disastres great)
If chance it come to wanton Capricorne,
And so into the Ram's disgracefull horne,
Then learne thou of the ugly Scorpion,
To hate her for her foule abusion 44:
Thy refuge then the Balance 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 live a single man.

43

* The human figure, thus astrologically distributed, was common on old al. manacks.

his griefe remove. i. e. his grief to remove.

ahusion-delusion, fraud,
acquite-acquit, release

44

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VIRGIDEMIARUM.

LIB. III.

1

PROLOGUE

SOME

say my Satyrs over-loosely flow, Nor hide their gall inough from open show: Not, riddle-like, obscuring their intent; But, packe-staffe plaine, uttring what thing they ment: Contrarie to the Roman ancients, Whose words were short, and darksome was their sence. Who reads one line of their harsh poesies, Thrise must he take his wind, and breath him thrise. My Muse would follow them that have fore-gone', But cannot with an English pineon : For looke how farre the ancient Comedie Past former Satyrs in her libertie; So farre must mine yeeld unto them of old. 'Tis better be too bad, than be too bold.

fore-gone--gone before.

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