Who knows how many thousand years ago
The twelvefold Zodiac was made to show
The course of stars above and men below?
The great sun plows his furrow by its “lines”:
From all its “houses” mystic meaning shines:
Deep lore of life is written in its “signs.”
Snow-white and sacred is the sacrifice
That Heaven demands for what our heart doth prize:
The man who fears to suffer, ne’er can rise.
Rejoice, my friend, if God has made you strong:
Put forth your force to move the world along:
Yet never shame your strength to do a wrong.
Bitter his life who lives for self alone,
Poor would he be with riches and a throne:
But friendship doubles all we are and own.
Cancer–The Wisdom of Retreat.
Learn from the crab, O runner fresh and fleet,
Sideways to move, or backward, when discreet;
Life is not all advance,–sometimes retreat!
The sign of Leo is the sign of fire.
Hatred we hate: but no man should desire
A heart too cold to flame with righteous ire.
Mysterious symbol, words are all in vain
To tell the secret power by which you reign,
The more we love, the less we can explain.
Examine well the scales with which you weigh;
Let justice rule your conduct every day;
For when you face the Judge you’ll need fair play
There’s not a creature in the realm of night
But has the wish to live, likewise the right:
Don’t tread upon the scorpion, or he’ll fight.
Life is an arrow, therefore you must know
What mark to aim at, how to use the bow,–
Then draw it to the head and let it go!
The goat looks solemn, yet he likes to run,
And leap the rocks, and gambol in the sun:
The truly wise enjoy a little fun.
“Like water spilt upon the ground,”–alas,
Our little lives flow swiftly on and pass;
Yet may they bring rich harvests and green grass!
Last of the sacred signs, ye bring to me
A word of hope, a word of mystery,–
We all are swimmers in God’s mighty sea.
February 28. 1918.