"O'er all the sand-waste, with a gradual fall,
Were raining down dilated flakes of fire,
As of the snow on Alp without a wind.
As Alexander, in those torrid parts
of India, beheld upon his host
Flames fall unbroken till they reached the ground,"
Dante Inferno XIV, Longfellow trans.
And the winter weather, skiffs of snow regularly
since our return from Venice