Dante Alighieri (1315-1318) - 884 

That sun was not yet very distant from
his rising, when he caused the earth to take
some comfort from his mighty influence;

for even as a youth, he ran to war
against his father, on behalf of her—
the ladya unto whom, just as to death,

none willingly unlocks the door; before
his spiritual court et coram patre,b
he wed her; day by day he loved her more.

She was bereft of her first husband; scorned,
obscure, for some eleven hundred years,
until the sun came, she had had no suitor.c

Nor did it help her when men heard that he
who made earth tremble found her unafraid—
serene, with Amyclasd—when he addressed her;

nor did her constancy and courage help
when she, even when Mary stayed below,
suffered with Christ upon the cross.e But so

that I not tell my tale too darkly, you
may now take Francis and take Poverty
to be the lovers meant in my recounting.

Their harmony and their glad looks, their love
and wonder and their gentle contemplation,
served others as a source of holy thoughts;

so much so, that the venerable Bernard
went barefoot first;f he hurried toward such peace;
and though he ran, he thought his pace too slow.

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 884

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