Here sighs and lamentations and loud cries
were echoing across the starless air,
so that, as soon as I set out, I wept.
Strange utterances, horrible pronouncements,
accents of anger, words of suffering,
and voices shrill and faint, and beating hands –
all went to make a tumult that will whirl… (Inf. III, 22-28)
[Virgil]: …"Forget your fear, no one can hinder
our passage; One so great has granted it.
But you wait here for me, and feed and comfort
your tired spirit with good hope, for I
will not abandon you in this low world."
So he goes on his way; that gentle father
has left me there to wait and hesitate,
for yes and no contend within my head.
I could not hear what he was telling them;
but he had not been long with them when each
ran back into the city, scrambling fast.
And these, our adversaries, slammed the gates
in my lord’s face; and he remained outside,
then, with slow steps, turned back again to me. (Inf. VIII, 104-117)
[Virgil]: "We have to win this battle," he began,
"if not…But one so great had offered help.
How slow that someone’s coming seems to me!"
But I saw well enough how he had covered
his first words with the words that followed after –
so different from what he had said before,
nevertheless, his speech made me afraid,
because I drew out from his broken phrase
a meaning worse – perhaps – than he’d intended.(Inf. IX, 7-15)