1. How great are your purposes and how difficult to explain! People who have not learned about them have gone astray.
2. While the godless thought they had the holy nation in their power, they themselves were prisoners, captives of a long night, shut in under their own roofs, banished from eternal providence.
3. Although they counted on their sins remaining hidden under the veil of forgetfulness, they were scattered and at the same time dismayed and terrified by visions.
4. The dark places where they sheltered could not protect them from fear, they heard horrific noises and were confronted with ghastly and mournful apparitions.
5. No fire could give them light, while the sparkling radiance of the stars dared not shine on that horrible night.
6. All that shone for them was an inextinguishable and terrifying fire and, in their terror, when this vision ended, they imagined their situation to be worse than it was.
7. Their magic arts failed and their pretence to intelligence was utterly confounded;
8. those who claimed to eliminate the fear and disturbance of the sick mind were themselves afflicted with a ridiculous fear.
9. Although there was nothing to cause this fear, they were terrified by the buzz of insects and the hiss of snakes;
10. they died convulsed with fear, refusing to look even at the air from which no one may escape.
11. Wickedness is cowardly and is condemned by itself; pursued by conscience it always assumes the worst.
12. For fear is no more than giving up the help that reason is able to give.
13. Inasmuch as this help is lacking interiorly, the unknown cause of one's torments seems greater.
14. So all that night, a night issued from the powerless netherworld that took hold of them while they slept and made everyone powerless,
15. they were either pursued by monstrous ghosts or paralyzed by a sudden, unexpected fear.
16. Whoever had fallen lay there, shut in a prison not made of iron.
17. Whether plowman or shepherd or someone working by himself, he had to submit to an inevitable fate;
18. all were bound by the same chain of darkness. Everything held them paralyzed by fear: the sighing of the wind and the tuneful song of the birds in spreading branches, the continuous noise of rushing water
19. and the terrible crash of falling rocks, the swift, invisible bounding of animals and the terrifying roar of wild beasts, the echo rebounding from the mountains - all was a cause of fear.
20. The whole world shone in brilliant light and continued its work without hindrance;
21. they alone were covered in the darkness of night, the image of night that would be their lot. But even heavier than the darkness was the burden they were for themselves.