Of the Knowledge of Beasts


Who knoweth, but that beasts,2 as they do lie
In meadows low, or else on mountains high,3
May contemplations have upon4 the sun,
And how his daily, yearly circles run?5
Whether the sun about the Earth doth rove,                        5
Or else the Earth on6 its own poles doth move;7
And in the night, when twinkling stars they8 see,
Like man, imagine9 them all suns to be;
And may like man, stars,10 planets number well,
And could they speak, they might11 their motions tell;      10
And how each planet in its orb doth12 move;
’Gainst their astrology no man can13 prove.
For they may know the stars, and their aspects,
What influence they cast, and their effects.

  1. Of the Knowledge of Beasts] A Discourse of Beasts.1653
  2. knoweth, but that beasts,] knowes; but Beasts, 1653
  3. high,] high? 1653
  4. May contemplations have upon] But that they do contemplate on 1653
  5. run?] run. 1653
  6. on] upon 1653
  7. doth move;] move. 1653; doth move? 1668
  8. they] we 1653
  9. imagine] imagines 1653
  10. like man, stars,] the Stars and 1664; the Starrs and 1668
  11. they might] as Men, 1664, 1668
  12. each planet in its orb doth] the Planets in each Orbe do 1653
  13. ’Gainst their astrology no man can] Against all Man’s Astrology may 1664; Against all Man’s Astrologie may 1668