A Love Poem for Valentine Day: Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare



Ode of Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth, to welcome Neptune in Pisces

'Childhood' from the 'Voyage of Life' by Thomas Coles (1801-1848) ~ Click to view detail

The ‘Ode of  Intimations of Immortality’ was published by Wordsworth between 1802 and 1805, when transiting Neptune in Scorpio was crossing his Natal Ascendant (exact just around the poet’s 1802 thirty-second birthday). Neptune was also applying then to a sextile to Natal Moon in Virgo. Amazingly his Secondary Progressed Moon happened to be conjunct the transiting Neptune in Scorpio around the same date as well! The Progressed Mercury in Taurus and Progressed/Natal Saturn in Cancer were also in sextile with each other (Natal Mercury in Pisces was conjunct Natal Chiron and both were in trine to Natal Saturn in Cancer, good start). In his Solar Return for 1802 transiting Neptune happened to be on the Mid-Heaven and Mercury was returning to the place it occupied at birth).

Between 1804 and 1805 (year the complete poem was published) transiting Neptune in Scorpio was trine Natal Mercury and Chiron in Pisces and Natal Saturn in Cancer (Water Grand Trine), around the time of Wordsworth’s thirty-fourth birthday.

I came across some verses of this well known poem while reading a book on the Grail Quest by Trevor Ravenscroft. I felt that both the Holy Grail and the poem were great symbols for Neptune in Pisces. It is no coincidence that I am re-reading stuff about the Grail as Neptune trines my Sun in Cancer. It got even better however  when later I discovered the stunning astrological connection of poem and poet to Neptune, while I was posting the poem and decided to look at the poet’s Natal Chart and then his Progressions and Returns. So I have to share this.

Here is William Wordsworth’s Natal Chart.  And below it a 3wheels Chart with his Natal Chart in the inner wheel, his 1802 Progressed Horoscope in the middle wheel, and the Solar Return for the same year in the outer wheel.

click to view larger image

click to view larger image

Willliam Wordsworth’s (1770-1850)
‘The Ode of Intimations of Immortality, from ‘Recollections of early childhood’

note: I have highlighted (bold) the passage of the poem I found in the Grail book.

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;—
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy

Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
O evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning,
And the children are culling
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother’s arm:
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there’s a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look’d upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a mother’s mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years’ darling of a pigmy size!
See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,
With light upon him from his father’s eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnèd art;
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage’
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy soul’s immensity;
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—
Mighty prophet! Seer blest!
On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a master o’er a slave,
A presence which is not to be put by;
To whom the grave
Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight
Of day or the warm light,
A place of thought where we in waiting lie;
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest—
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never:
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And O ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish’d one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripp’d lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

HERE is the Wikipedia article on this poem.


These are are poems I conceived when I first learnt about the Twelve Signs. They don’t have any great poetical value, but encapsulate my then intense if naive feelings about these timeless symbols. 



The will to be wakens when you are born,

Now and again keeping your life from peril:

The spark of divine light

Which shines on your ideals and daring.

Brave innocence sole weapon

To face life’s great illusion.



That sensual stirring

Which comes from life’s abundance.

Knowledge of simple pleasures,

The beauty and peace

Of nature’s contemplation.

Intent will build your temple

On this rock of devotion.




Curiosity, the thought

Which gave a name to everything created.

Divine is your twin brother;

One with you, yet ever separated.

He dwells with the Gods

And brings to you their tidings.




Mother and babe in you,

For ever intertwined.

Nourishing milk, white as moonlight,

Moon faced, suckling child.

Fertile water of earthly streams and rivers,

The gift of life to nurture.




Proud child, in your bright eyes

As real as life is play.

Creative heart of joy,

Colour and form envision.

The love in you is like a sun

Who radiates warmth and light.



Pure magic waves the maiden upon the loom of life.

For ever trying, with skilful hands,

To order what is Chaos.

Amongst the crafts of old

She is the art of sacrifice

And service to the world:

To humbly thread the pathway of the wise.


One to one you seek relating

With kindred souls on earth,

Ever alive the wish to find

Your ideal bird of a feather.

Seeking the perfect harmony

In a discordant world,

In equanimity you’ll find the truest mate of all.



Deep deep currents always stirring

The tranquillity of the lake.

Self-control that comes from knowing

Our tendency for error.

Wholesome power won by yielding

To the spiraling life force.


Seeker of new horizons,

Knower of things to come.

Faith is your guide

In the endless quest for meaning.

To aim your arrows far and high

Don’t need only eye vision,

But both the favour of the Gods

And lightening intuition.


The thoughtful face which even young

Sometimes looks gloomy and sombre.

Memory of timeless pain, and wisdom.

Who needs to climb another mountain

Or build another wall?

The vanity of all ambitions

Is clear to the old.


Drawing your living water

From the eternal spring of knowledge,

You fecundate the world

With thoughts and innovations,

Seeds for future ages and unborn generations.

You are truly aware

To be just one of many,

The galaxy is home and friendly stars

Converse with you from the depth of the sky.



Where is, what is your shiny self

In the chaos of creation?

Sweet child, return to mother ocean,

A new life dream to unravel.

Or forever undo the enchantment of nature,

Discovering the One who became many.


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