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 The Versified Legend of the Virgin Clare - 202 

15and conquers the sense of angelic light.
Thus let the spirit be occupied in these matters
that its faith might be strong, its utterance of word simple.
Wherefore sowing what is lighter, I leave what is weightier
to the more intelligent, content with a simple word.

IV. THE LEGEND BEGINS INITIALLY WITH
THE NEED FOR NEW ORDERS

1The Splendor of unbegotten light, begotten beyond all time,
The Principle from the Principle, Whose wisdom,
moved by the fall of the human race,
planted the seeds of things in different causes,

5came into the womb of a virgin and took flesh, joining
both natures by the art of the Holy Spirit.
As the heavenly Spouse proceeds from the marriage-bed
by means of the Virgin's womb,a He goes forth on the battlefield
under a mantle of fragile flesh. At the end, while contending

10with the Prince of death, beneath a holy pretext, that holy redeemer
repelled the enemy's designs by a marvelous conflict.
While hanging on the cross, he washed away our weaknesses
by the flow of his precious blood. There he paid the damages
which the taste of the forbidden tree brought upon the world.

15Christ established on his apostolic followers that Church
which was first redeemed by the agony of His death. Through them
He proclaimed throughout the world His doctrines of truth
and the kingdoms of the world became the faith's underpinnings.
In our times their pure crop decayed, as malignant darnel grew,

20and virtue itself succumbed to vice. The Church's face,
hardened by sin, fell into decay. The heresies which always

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Legenda Versificata Sanctae Clarae, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2349-2350


70Quod mentem superat hominis, sensumque revincit
Angelice lucis; sic mens versetur in istis
Quod sit firma fides, verbi prolatio sinplex.
Quapropter leviora serens, potiora relinquo
Sensu conspicuis, contentus sinplice verbo.

IV — Incipit legenda et primo que fuit necessitas novorum Ordinum.

75Ingenite lucis splendor, genitusque perhempnis,
Principium de principio, sapientia cuius
In varias causas discrevit semina rerum,
Humani generis lapsu permotus, in alvum
Virginis advenit, carnem suscepit, utramque

80Naturam copulans divini Neumatis arte.
Tamquam de thalamo sponsus celestis ab alvo
Virginis egrediens, fragilis sub carnis amictu
Exiit in canpum; tandem cum principe mortis
Conflingens, sub fraude pia pius ipse redemptor

85Hostis congressu miro commenta refellit,
Languores nostros pretiosi sanguinis unda
Diluit in lingno pendens: ibi dampna resolvit,
Que vetiti lingni gustus congessit in orbem.
Quam prius ecclesiam sub mortis agone redemit,

90Hanc in apostolicis Christus fundavit alumpnis;
Per quos insonuit veri doctrina per orbem,
Et mundi rengna fidei substrata fuere.
Cuius pura seges, lolio crescente maligno,
Temporibus nostris emarcuit, ipsaque virtus

95Succubuit vitio; putruit concreta reatu
Ecclesie facies; heresis, que senper id egit

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 202

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