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 The Versified Life of Saint Francis (after 1283) - 81 

Nor is he allowed to turn to his mother's simple ways.
34O what a monster we've fashioned! Fickle nature's bad, consisting

Variation and Addition
49Downward we slide; any skyward ascent is with effort.a

So, for long the youth is like a crooked bow, Ps 78:57 [Vulgate, Ps 77:57]
Terrestrial his heart's yearning, gainful dealings his concern,
And what appears to be, rather than is, good he pursues.
Yet his character, naturally good, was with evil unalloyed;
But his conduct made good habits ugly rather than the ugly
Conform to the good; however, being gentle, generous, kindly,
Affable, amid those wild preoccupations he retained some
69Traces of virtue, forecasting a meritorious future.
He so flourished in these, that in the world's whirlwind itself
He was verdant with the flower of chastity, like a rose
Among thorns undamaged; and he grew in pity Jb 31:18 for the wretched,
Always wanting to help them, nor ever turn any away.
Indeed ever from childhood mercy grew up alongside him,
So that he merited to heap up goods of a higher kind.
Ever increasing rewards does the virtue of piety reapb
And manifold is the harvest it yields to its workers.

But contrary to wont—and this was to be a lapse that brought
Forth fresh good, he happened once to upbraid a man in need.
Then, recalling that it was in the King's great name the beggar
Humbly had asked for so little by way of alms, he was sorry
For not granting the request; and lest one bad act beget more,
This in his heart he resolved and vowed to cling to forever,
That if there was anything more he could give to someone
Who begged in Christ's name, he should never be driven away.
He would never allow this vow to depart from his heart;
And that the hand dare not resist the command of the heart,
The mental record of his intentions he sealed with his acts.

So it is that one who's just, with capacity to learn,
A divine vocation furthers, through conflicting occasions.
For one who is just profits from his mistakes; though reckless
The fall, haughty the excesses, that led him to wickedness:
For, once contrite, the rash recklessness turns to fruition,

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 81

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