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Whilst the nights wane, and daylight minished be
Whilst nights do take their augmentations,
Either because the self-same sun, coursing
Under the lands and over in two arcs,
A longer and a briefer, doth dispart
The coasts of ether and divides in twain
His orbit all unequally, and adds,
As round he's borne, unto the one half there
As much as from the other half he's ta'en,
Until he then arrives that sign of heaven
Where the year's node renders the shades of night
Equal unto the periods of light.
For when the sun is midway on his course
Between the blasts of northwind and of south,
Heaven keeps his two goals parted equally,
By virtue of the fixed position old
Of the whole starry Zodiac, through which
That sun, in winding onward, takes a year,
Illumining the sky and all the lands
With oblique light- as men declare to us
Who by their diagrams have charted well
Those regions of the sky which be adorned
With the arranged signs of Zodiac.
Or else, because in certain parts the air
Under the lands is denser, the tremulous
Bright beams of fire do waver tardily,
Nor easily can penetrate that air
Nor yet emerge unto their rising-place:
For this it is that nights in winter time
Do linger long, ere comes the many-rayed
Round Badge of the day. Or else because, as said,
In alternating seasons of the year
Fires, now more quick, and now more slow, are wont
To stream together,- the fires which make the sun
To rise in some one spot- therefore it is
That those men seem to speak the truth [who hold
A new sun is with each new daybreak born].
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