The Versified Legend of the Virgin Clare - 204 

each in a different way, each in a different garb.
One, taking his name from that of the Lord,

50was a mirror of Christ's heralds and a wayfarer;a
the other, Francis, who in poor clothing
revealed himself as lesser than all,
was prominent as the leader of the Minors.
Small, it grew into thousands, and, a tiny pebble, became a

55great mountain. From a small spring flows a great river which
spreads over all the earth. Its reservoir irrigates souls
and, with its drink of salutary teaching it subdues vice's ardor.
This man, seeing that the joys of the fleeting world would pass away,
the desires of the flesh would perish with the flesh,

60and that no crown would be won except through warfare,
embarked upon a battle with the world, with the prince of the world,
[and] marvelously engaged in a duel with his frail arms.b
Overcoming impulses, dying in Christ with his body's death,
and carrying Gal 6:17 the sacred stigmata in his members,

65he confronted the battle array, the anger of the harsh demon,
the furies of the spirits, and their burning arrows.
This new athlete, while not using steel, brought
new kinds of weapons into faith's citadel:
a strong faith of heart, trust in the word,

70a marvelous compassion for Christ hanging on the cross,
a contempt for material things, a dulled will of the flesh,
night vigils, a simple meditation,
a small amount of food, little drink, flagellation of the flesh,
a coarse cord and bare feet, together with rough clothes.

75These were the arms and the defense of this apostolic man.
He was inflamed with the fire of the divine Light
and gave evidence of this to others. Thus he was said to be

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Legenda Versificata Sanctae Clarae, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2350-2351


Mundi labentis spreverunt gaudia, Christi
Conformi voto vestigia sacra secuti.
Unus, transumens de nomine Domini nomen,

125Preconum Christi speculum fuit adque viator;
Alter, Franciscus, qui vili veste minorem
Cunctis se prebens, dux estitit, ipse Minorum.
Parvulus in mille crevit, tenuisque lapillus
In montem magnum, grandis de fonte pusillo

130Processit fluvius vasto diffusus in orbe;
Irriguum cuius animas rigat, adque salubris
Potu doctrine vitiorum comprimit estum.
Hic transire videns fugientis gaudia mundi,
Adque voluptates — carnis cum carne perire,

135Et, nisi per pugnam, nullam superesse coronam,
Bellum cum mundo subiit, cum principe mundi
Mirum commisit fragili sub vase duellum.
Incentiva domans, in mortis corpore Christo
Comoriens, membrisque suis pia stigmata portans,

140Aerias acies et sevi demonis iras,
Spirituum furias ignitaque spicula trivit.
Non utens ferro novus hic athleta novellas
Armorum species fidei congessit in arcem:
Firma fides cordis et confidentia verbi,

145In cruce pendentis Christi compassio, mira,
Rerum conten[p]tus, carnis sopita voluntas,
Excubie noctis, sinplex oratio mentis,
Parca cibi, potus assunptio, verbera carnis,
Corda rudis nudique pedes, simul aspera vestis,

150Huius apostolici munimen et arma fuere.
In se flammatus divini Neumatis igne
Et de se prebens aliis exenpla, beati

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 204

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