A more literal translation, by William Ellery Leonard, reads: "That in no wise the nature of all things / For us was fashioned by a power divine – / So great the faults it stands encumbered with."
Lucretius writes in On the Nature of Things, as translated by William Ellery Leonard: There be, besides, some thing
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.
In the autumn of 1940, Lewis visited his old acquaintance, William Ellery Leonard, in Madison, Wisconsin.
In ancient Rome nocturnal emission was perceived as quite natural, as noted by Lucretius in his De Rerum Natura (translated here by William Ellery Leonard): ... Again, those males
Into the surging channels of whose years
Now first has passed the seed (engendered
Within their members by the ripened days)
Are in their sleep confronted from without
By idol-images of some fair form—
Tidings of glorious face and lovely bloom,
Which stir and goad the regions turgid now
With seed abundant;