Canto XXXIV: Ciardi Translation : “On march the banners of the King of Hell,” My Master said. “Toward us. Look straight ahead: Can you make him out at the core of the frozen shell?” Like a whirling windmill seen afar at twilight, Or when a mist has risen from the ground― Just such an engine rose upon my sight Stirring up such a wild and bitter wind I cowered for shelter at my Master’s back, There being no other windbreak I could find. I stood now where the souls of the last class (with fear my verses tell it) were covered wholly; They shone below the ice like straws in glass. Some lie stretched out; others are fixed in place Upright, some on their heads, some on their soles; Another, like a bow, bends foot to face. When we had gone so far across the ice That it pleased my Guide to show me the foul creature Which once had worn the grace of Paradise, He made me stop, and, stepping aside, he said: “Now see the face of Dis! This is the place Where you must arm your soul against all dread.” Do not ask, Reader, how my blood ran cold And my voice choked up with fear. I cannot write it: This is a terror that cannot be told. I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath: Imagine for yourself what I became, Deprived at once of both my life and death. The Emperor of the Universe of Pain Jutted his upper chest above the ice; And I am closer in size to the great mountain The Titans make around the central pit, Than they to his arms. Now, starting from this part, Imagine the whole that corresponds to it! If he was once as beautiful as now He is hideous, and still turned on his Maker, Well may he be the source of every woe!