Ilioneus was her chief: Alethes old, Achates faithful, Abas young and bold, Endur’d not less; their ships, with gaping seams, Admit the deluge of the briny streams.
Meantime, the gath’ring clouds obscure the skies: From pole to pole the forky lightning flies; The rattling thunders roll; and Juno pours A wintry deluge down, and sounding show’rs.
Thus, when a flood of fire by wind is borne, Crackling it rolls, and mows the standing corn; Or deluges, descending on the plains, Sweep o’er the yellow year, destroy the pains Of lab’ring oxen and the peasant’s gains; Unroot the forest oaks, and bear away Flocks, folds, and trees, and undistinguish’d prey: The shepherd climbs the cliff, and sees from far The wasteful ravage of the wat’ry war.
Ev’n in their lines and trenches they contend, And scarce their walls the Trojan troops defend: The town is fill’d with slaughter, and o’erfloats, With a red deluge, their increasing moats.
Like lightning, fierce Aeneas, rolling on, With arms invests, with flames invades the town: The brands are toss’d on high; the winds conspire To drive along the deluge of the fire.
From that dire deluge, thro’ the wat’ry waste, Such length of years, such various perils past, At last escap’d, to Latium we repair, To beg what you without your want may spare: The common water, and the common air; Sheds which ourselves will build, and mean abodes, Fit to receive and serve our banish’d gods.