The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 437 

The Second Book

THIS SECOND PART GOES ON TO DEAL WITH THE FORCES STANDING BY HIM, THE WAR HE FOUGHT, THE ENEMY HE FACED, THE WEAPONS WITH WHICH HE SUBDUED THEM, HOW HE GAVE AWAY HIS POSSESSIONS FOR CHRIST, AND WAS MALTREATED BY FOES UNEXPECTED.

RINSING dew the Holy Spirit moistens his faithful heart with;
Compunction, like a broom, sweeping the house Mt 12:44 Lk 11:25 makes it fit
For that Guest. He can hardly believe that what was always
A robbers' den is now the Lord's House. Jer 7:11 Mt 21:13 It was He

5On His gracious coming, would permit nothing improper
Within his servant, but instead brightly adorn the rooms
Of the heart, transforming pig-sties into shrines.
Yet what was not removed was the scruple that the uncertain desires
Of the flesh might not return, tickling, as it were, the soul's fancy.

10Lest they come back to pervert anything spiritual,
That first of virtues, Fear of the Lord, renders him strong
With her counsel, knowledgeable with her piety, wise
With understanding. Thus does the Spirita equip him with seven shields.
And seven monsters stand over against him supported by hell's fiery hordes.

15From whatever bold stock came swelling Pride, ungrateful
For supernal gifts, she'll regard none as her peer.
For company she's got Pomp, Disdain, and Haughtiness,
With Arrogance, presenting the others with her acquisitions,
And Braggadocio, by defaming making her name;

20Then there is Mundane Glory—her contemplation is not of heaven!
Then flowery Hypocrisy, huntress of human praise, hateful to God
And world, nibbling her fatty fare in her false fasting,b

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Liber Il

Alter prosequitur, quibus assistentibus, in quo Bello, quos hostes, quibus ille subegerit armis; Qualiter, abiciens pro Christo quidquid habebat, Non exspectato male sit traetatus ab hoste.

Rore suo devota sibi praecordia Sanctus
Spiritus humectat; quorum compunctio, tamquam.
Scopa domum mundansa, tanto facit hospite dignam.
Miratur, quae semper erat spelunca latronum

5Facta domus Domini; cuius clementia servum,
Adventu dignata suo, nihil intus haberi
Permittit quod dedeceat, sed cordis adornans
Illustrat thalamos, et haras transformat in aras.
Nec tamen aufertur scrupulus, quin lubrica carnis

10Vota revertantur, quasi titillantia mentem;
Neve revertendo quidquam pervertere possint
Spirituale, timor Dominic, primaria virtus,
Consilio reddit fortem, pietate scientem
Ac intellectu sapientem. Spiritus ergo

15Armat eum clipeo septemplice; monstraque septem
Stant ex adverso pyreis stipata catervis.
Ex quacumque tumens virtute Superbia, nullum
Dignatura parem, donis ingrata supernis.
Concomitantur ei Tumor, Indignatio, Fastus,

20Praeponensque suas aliis Elatio dotes,
Et minuens augendo suam lactantia famam,
Et caeleste nihil contemplans Gloria mundi d
Laudis et humanae venatrix florida mundo
Hypocrisis foetensque Deo, ieiunia cuius

25Ficta papant lardum, virtusque sophistica sordet.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 437

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