The children of Israel may not touch
The arts of occult divination
Which other nations practised much
By means of star and constellation.
But Joseph could interpret dreams
And Daniel too possessed that skill,
And miracles occur, it seems,
The waters part; the sun stands still.
In Babylon, an almanac
Explained the changes in the sky
With symbols of the zodiac
Which last a month and then pass by.
A synagogue in Jericho
Displays a Zodiac mosaic
From fifteen hundred years ago,
Both enigmatic and archaic.
The water signs, the fish and crab
The bigger beasts, the ram and bull,
The lion in the month of Ab,
Yields to the virgin of Elul.
Unleavened bread and paschal lamb
Remind us we were Pharaoh’s slaves,
Went free beneath the Aries ram
And walked dry shod between the waves,
Received twin tablets of the Law
When the sign of Gemini prevails
Our deeds judged in the Days of Awe
The season of the Libra scales.
We read of Noah and his ark
When winter’s near and clouds hang low,
The afternoons are growing dark
The astral archer draws his bow.
But we are not allowed to plunder
The seductive wisdom of the mages
Though scientists suppose with wonder
Infinities of monkey cages.
The necromancer’s eerie art
Is banned, for that way madness lies,
But astrophysicists may chart
The restless motion in the skies.