The Versified Life of Saint Francis (after 1283) - 100 

As fervent imitator of Christ in His poverty,
Her he did espouse with a love that was perpetual.
Among virtues she, he would say, was salvation's proper road
And like a queen to the others, for the very reason
That it was so vivid in the King of kings and likewise
In His Queen Mother. To keep back therefore nothing of his own
Was his wish in this world, to attain celestial riches,
The proper entitlement of those that were truly poor.
And since, as the prophet testifies, a beggar and pauper
Was Christ, the ideal model of virtue, so this man
His disciple made it his business to be both of these.
Nor was it solely to be poor, like any dispossessed
Or holding goods in common, but attaining poverty
At its apostolic peak, to be a beggar, go in want
With Christ was his wish; and the food he begged he used to call
Angelic bread, because it was bestowed at the prompting
Of angels, to provide for those that truly are in need.
To beg for the sake of Christ, he said, was no cause for shame.
"All things," he used to say, "are the alms the Lord gave mortals
Out of His tender pity, after the fall of humankind."

Satan attempted a snare to lay and play a trick on him.
While through Apulia he was passing and nearing Bari,
There on the road appeared what is commonly called a "sling,"
A large purse, almost ready to burst, full as it was with coins.
His companion urged him to take it up and give it out
To the poor. Shrink from this did the holy man, saying that here
Lay a devil's trick; besides, nor to give away was it right
To purloin what was not their own; and away he went in haste.
But the brother, still deluded by a hollow kindness,
Kept pressing his advice and murmuring back in plaintive tones
How wrong to waste what could instead those in misery relieve.
At this point, the holy man to go back did agree, not to
Comply with his urger's wish, but to expose the foe's deceit.
And it was just then that a man was coming up and joined them.
First, therefore, saying a prayer, to the brother to lift the purse
He gave orders; the brother Satan's wiles foresaw and trembled.
He, however, lest he infringe the command, towards the purse
Was stretching his hand, when, next, there jumped a huge serpent
Out of the purse and the two suddenly vanished together.
So was found out by the servant of Christ the Devil's deceit.
Then said he to his companion: "Sordid money, my brother,
To the Lord's servants is the devil and a venomous snake."
He, having thoroughly abandoned all things, his own caring




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 100