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Of which 'tis not enough one only cause
To state- but rather several, whereof one
Will be the true: lo, if thou shouldst espy
Lying afar some fellow's lifeless corse,
'Twere meet to name all causes of a death,
That cause of his death might thereby be named:
For prove thou mayst he perished not by steel,
By cold, nor even by poison nor disease,
Yet somewhat of this sort hath come to him
We know- And thus we have to say the same
In divers cases.
Toward the summer, Nile
Waxeth and overfloweth the champaign,
Unique in all the landscape, river sole
Of the Aegyptians. In mid-season heats
Often and oft he waters Aegypt o'er,
Either because in summer against his mouths
Come those northwinds which at that time of year
Men name the Etesian blasts, and, blowing thus
Upstream, retard, and, forcing back his waves,
Fill him o'erfull and force his flow to stop.
For out of doubt these blasts which driven be
From icy constellations of the pole
Are borne straight up the river. Comes that river
From forth the sultry places down the south,
Rising far up in midmost realm of day,
Among black generations of strong men
With sun-baked skins. 'Tis possible, besides,
That a big bulk of piled sand may bar
His mouths against his onward waves, when sea,
Wild in the winds, tumbles the sand to inland;
Whereby the river's outlet were less free,
Likewise less headlong his descending floods.
It may be, too, that in this season rains
Are more abundant at its fountain head,
Because the Etesian blasts of those northwinds
Then urge all clouds into those inland parts.
And, soothly, when they're thus foregathered there,
Urged yonder into midmost realm of day,
Then, crowded against the lofty mountain sides,
They're massed and powerfully pressed. Again,
Perchance, his waters wax, O far away,
Among the Aethiopians' lofty mountains,
When the all-beholding sun with thawing beams
Drives the white snows to flow into the vales.
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