The Versified Legend of the Virgin Clare - 199 

The Versified Legend of the Virgin Clare


1Gentle Alexander, good shepherd, blessed pope
Model of Pontiffs, Glory of leaders, example
of the clergy, sacred leader of the people, refuge of humanity,
Prince of the Church, light of the world, the greatest of the fathers,

5You are the dispenser of heavenly goods and their highest minister,
You are the successor of the first of the apostles and his heir.
Abel of old points you out, the governing Noah
envisioned you, Abraham the great Patriarch prefigures you.
The leader Moses, Aaron in his priesthood,

10The judge Samuel portrays you, and the power of the highest office
points to Peter. You have the anointing of Christ.
Holy Father, receive this work. Let the splendor of its material
make up for the inadequacy of its words, the greatness of its
blessed theme bestow brilli ance on its doubtful form.

15May this portrait in a lowly style, by your grace, be worthy, I pray,
to penetrate the ears of your sweetness.
Because what is loftiest becomes you, the most high, you must not spurn




Legenda Versificata Sanctae Clarae, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2347

Legenda Versificata
Sanctae Clarae

I — Sanctissimo ac beatissimo patri domino Alessand[r]o pape.

1Mitis Alexander, bone pastor, papa beate,
Pontificum forma, primatum gloria, cleri
Exemplar, populique sacer dux, plebis asylum,
Ecclesie princeps, lux mundi, maxime patrum;

5Tu dispensator celestis es atque minister
Summus, apostolici primi successor et heres;
Te primevus Abel singnat, Noeque gubernans
Misticat, et mangnus Abraam patriarcha figurat;
Te Moyses ductor, Aaron te pontificatu,

10Te Samuel censor depingit, teque potestas
Offitii summi Petrum notat, unctio Christum.
Accipe, san[c]te pater, opus hoc; incongrua vocum
Materie splendor redimat, preclara beati
Thematis obscuram donent, splendescere formam.

15Hec humili depicta stilo tua gratia, queso,
Dignetur penetrare tue dulcedinis aures;
Nec, quia summa decent te summum, spernere debes
Infima; nec, quoniam magnus, calcare minora.
Non quid in oblatis sit queritur, immo ferentis

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 199