From Lucan’s Civil War 1.486-505, text and translation from the Loeb edition.
Nec solum volgus inani
Percussum terrore pavet; sed curia et ipsi
Sedibus exiluere patres, invisaque belli
Consulibus fugiens mandat decreta senatus.
Tum, quae tuta petant et quae metuenda relinquant
Incerti, quo quemque fugae tulit impetus, urguet
Praecipitem populum, serieque haerentia longa
Agmina prorumpunt. Credas aut tecta nefandas
Corripuisse faces aut iam quatiente ruina
Nutantes pendere domos: sic turba per urbem
Praecipiti lymphata gradu, velut unica rebus
Spes foret adflictis patrios excedere muros,
Inconsulta ruit. Qualis, cum turbidus Auster
Reppulit a Libycis inmensum Syrtibus aequor
Fractaque veliferi sonuerunt pondera mali,
Desilit in fluctus deserta puppe magister
Navitaque, et nondum sparsa conpage carinae
Naufragium sibi quisque facit; sic urbe relicta
In bellum fugitur.
Nor was the populace alone stricken with groundless fear. The Senate House was moved; the Fathers themselves sprang up from their seats; and the Senate fled, deputing to the consuls the dreaded declaration of war. Then, knowing not where to seek refuge or where to flee danger, each treads on the heels of the hastening population, wherever impetuous flight carries him. Forth they rush in long unbroken columns; one might think that impious firebrands had seized hold of the houses, or that the buildings were swaying and tottering in an earthquake shock. For the frenzied crowd rushed headlong through the city with no fixed purpose, and as if the one chance of relief from ruin were to get outside their native walls. So, when the stormy South wind has driven the vast sea from the Syrtes of Libya and the heavy mast with its sails has come crashing down, the skipper abandons the helm and leaps down with his crew into the sea, and each man makes shipwreck for himself before the planks of the hull are broken asunder. Thus Rome is abandoned, and flight is the preparation for war.