Darkness of Hell and of a night deprived
of every planet, under meager skies,
as overcast by clouds as sky can be,

had never served to veil my eyes so thickly
nor covered them with such rough-textured stuff
as smoke that wrapped us there in Purgatory;

my eyes could not endure remaining open;
so that my faithful, knowledgeable escort
drew closer as he offered me his shoulder.

Just as a blind man moves behind his guide,
that he not stray or strike against some thing
that may do damage to—or even kill—him,

so I moved through the bitter, filthy air,