The speaker says that he doesn’t draw his conclusions from the stars, but even so he understands astrology, although not to foretell good or bad luck, of plagues, shortages, or the nature of the forthcoming seasons.
2. I have astronomy: i.e I have knowledge of astronomy
Nor is he able to predict the future down to the last minute, stating exactly when there will be thunder, rain and wind; or say whether certain rulers will be fortunate by means of frequent predictions which he reads in the stars.
8. oft predict: KDJ has amended to aught, on the grounds that oft is almost never used as an adjective, and this is the only recorded use of predict as a noun. But others have stayed with oft, admitting its rarity. SB: ‘The perversity of the diction and the awkwardly elliptical style suggest the pompous obfuscation of a smug hack.’ Not sure I agree with him, but what a wonderful comment!
Instead, the speaker says, he derives his knowledge from the beloved’s eyes. They are like constant/unmoving stars, and in them he can read/discover such learning to the effect that truth (constancy) and beauty (external) will thrive together if the beloved were to turn away from self-adoration/gratification and convert to providing for the future (store).
9-10: this idea is typically Elizabethan but most particularly from Sidney in Arcadia: ‘O sweet Philoclea…thy heavenly face is my Astronomie’ and here, in Astrophel and Stella no.26:
If not the speaker says that he predicts for the beloved that his death will also be truth and beauty’s final fate and stipulated limit (in time).
14. cf The Pheonix and Turtle, ll.62-64: 'Truth may seem, but cannot be, / Beauty brag, but 'tis not she, / Truth and Beauty buried be.’
HV comments that this is the first instance of the linked words truth and beauty in the sonnets.
Links to other works by WS:
14: The Phoenix and Turtle, ll.62-64
Links to works by other authors:
Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella, 26