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 The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 463 

105For long until victory was sure, and then to others
Left an object lesson on how to abandon the worthless.
The fiftha to grasp the banner in the fight
Against the Furies is Aegidiusb with a variegated aegisc
Shielding his breast, for the day of the light of the new sun Is 9:2

110Rising, whereon will shine forth the dazzling gold of the cross
And of faith, his linen-whited purity, and the hyacinth-rede
Of his tribulations.
One other still having joined the group,
The seventh to take up arms is Friar Philip, transformed utterly

115Within from his very arrival;ffhe speaks secret words 2 Cor 12:4 and teaches
Things he has never studied. All whose hearts he warms, whose ears
Intoxicates, stand awed: for he learnt none of this
And but lately lacked it all.
Francis, protosoldier and commander, orders to battle

120His recruits, and shows them the course by actions
And the strategy by words. But by neither word nor act
Will he let valor be proven, till the soul so check old passionsg
—Which the supreme Judge must scrutinize—that it not produce
New ones from the old. To his men on fire with love for

125The heavenly wreath he teaches all the types of war they'll need
To triumph over monsters of the spirit world. Supported
By the saints of old and by his model virtue, the troop of brothers
Advances under their great leader, and little do they reck
Their efforts in relation to the joys Sir 35:21 to come.

130Yet few are the men he can draw into the lists
Against such hordes of Furies and of devils.
The holy captain asks of heaven to be shown if many are to join

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


125Vir simplex metuensque Deum, qui tempore multo
Constanter certans et tandem vincere certus,
Vana relinquendi reliquis exempla reliquit.
Quintus et eiusdem capiens insignia pugnae
Adversus Furias Aegidius aegide pectus

130Versicolore tegit, ubi, veri solis oborta
Luce, crucis nimium fideique refulgeat aurum,
Munditiae byssus, pressurarumque hyacinthus.
Uno praemissis adiecto, septimus arma
Suscipiens eadem frater. Philippus, in ipso

135Accessu toto mutatus pectore, quae non
Audivit loquitur, quae nescit edocet; omnes
Mirantur, quorum reficit cor, inebriat. aures,
Qui neutrum didicit, sed nuper egebat utroque.
Tirones istos Franciscus, ut et protomiles

140Et princeps certare iubet, factisque tenorem
Indicit, verbisque modum, neutrisque probari
Virtutem perhibet, nisi discutienda supremo
Iudice mens adeo primos compescere motus
Certet, ut ex primis non sit paritura secundos;

145Succensosque viros caelestis amore triumphi
Omne genus belli, quo spiritualia possunt
Monstra triumphari, docet: indiciisque priorum
Exemploque suae virtutis concio fratrum
Sub tanto duce proficiens, ad gaudia caeli

150Non censet mundi condignos esse labores.
At quia tam paucos trahit in certamina contra
Tot Furias et monstra viros, sibi caelitus optans
Ostendi dux ille sacer pluresne sequaces
Esset adepturus, in verba precantia totus

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 463

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