Ovid's Metamorphoses : The Flood

                              And now his thunder bolts
                              would Jove wide scatter, but he feared the flames,
                     335  unnumbered, sacred ether might ignite
                              and burn the axle of the universe:
                              and he remembered in the scroll of fate,
                              there is a time appointed when the sea
                              and earth and Heavens shall melt, and fire destroy
                     340  the universe of mighty labour wrought.
                              Such weapons by the skill of Cyclops forged,
                              for different punishment he laid aside--
                              for straightway he preferred to overwhelm
                              the mortal race beneath deep waves and storms
                      345  from every raining sky. And instantly
                              he shut the Northwind in Aeolian caves,
                              and every other wind that might dispel
                              the gathering clouds. He bade the Southwind blow:--
                              the Southwind flies abroad with dripping wings,
                      350  concealing in the gloom his awful face:
                              the drenching rain descends from his wet beard
                              and hoary locks; dark clouds are on his brows
                              and from his wings and garments drip the dews:
                              his great hands press the overhanging clouds;
                      355  loudly the thunders roll; the torrents pour;
                              Iris, the messenger of Juno, clad
                              in many coloured raiment, upward draws
                              the steaming moisture to renew the clouds.
                              The standing grain is beaten to the ground,
                     360  the rustic's crops are scattered in the mire,
                              and he bewails the long year's fruitless toil.
                              The wrath of Jove was not content with powers
                              that emanate from Heaven; he brought to aid
                              his azure brother, lord of flowing waves,
                      365  who called upon the Rivers and the Streams:
                              and when they entered his impearled abode,
                              Neptune, their ancient ruler, thus began;
                              "A long appeal is needless; pour ye forth
                              in rage of power; open up your fountains;
                      370  rush over obstacles; let every stream
                              pour forth in boundless floods." Thus he commands,
                              and none dissenting all the River Gods
                              return, and opening up their fountains roll
                              tumultuous to the deep unfruitful sea.
                      375  And Neptune with his trident smote the Earth,
                              which trembling with unwonted throes heaved up
                              the sources of her waters bare; and through
                              her open plains the rapid rivers rushed
                              resistless, onward bearing the waving grain,
                      380  the budding groves, the houses, sheep and men,--
                              and holy temples, and their sacred urns.
                              The mansions that remained, resisting vast
                              and total ruin, deepening waves concealed
                              and whelmed their tottering turrets in the flood
                      385  and whirling gulf. And now one vast expanse,
                              the land and sea were mingled in the waste
                              of endless waves--a sea without a shore.
                              One desperate man seized on the nearest hill;
                              another sitting in his curved boat,
                      390  plied the long oar where he was wont to plow;
                              another sailed above his grain, above
                              his hidden dwelling; and another hooked
                              a fish that sported in a leafy elm.
                              Perchance an anchor dropped in verdant fields,
                      395  or curving keels were pushed through tangled vines;
                              and where the gracile goat enjoyed the green,
                              unsightly seals reposed. Beneath the waves
                              were wondering Nereids, viewing cities, groves
                              and houses. Dolphins darting mid the trees,
                      400  meshed in the twisted branches, beat against
                              the shaken oak trees. There the sheep, affrayed,
                              swim with the frightened wolf, the surging waves
                              float tigers and lions: availeth naught
                              his lightning shock the wild boar, nor avails
                      405  the stag's fleet footed speed. The wandering bird,
                              seeking umbrageous groves and hidden vales,
                              with wearied pinion droops into the sea.
                              The waves increasing surge above the hills,
                              and rising waters dash on mountain tops.
                      410  Myriads by the waves are swept away,
                              and those the waters spare, for lack of food,
                              starvation slowly overcomes at last.
                              A fruitful land and fair but now submerged
                              beneath a wilderness of rising waves,
                      415  'Twixt Oeta and Aonia, Phocis lies,
                              where through the clouds Parnassus' summits twain
                              point upward to the stars, unmeasured height,
                              save which the rolling billows covered all:
                              there in a small and fragile boat, arrived,
                      420  Deucalion and the consort of his couch,
                              prepared to worship the Corycian Nymphs,
                              the mountain deities, and Themis kind,
                              who in that age revealed in oracles
                              the voice of fate. As he no other lived
                      425  so good and just, as she no other feared
                              the Gods.
                              When Jupiter beheld the globe
                              in ruin covered, swept with wasting waves,
                              and when he saw one man of myriads left,
                      430 one helpless woman left of myriads lone,
                              both innocent and worshiping the Gods,
                              he scattered all the clouds; he blew away
                              the great storms by the cold northwind.