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 The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 469 

And they talk of all that happened in their departure and return.
Innocent living and spiritual cheer marked the life

25Of the brothers, and no turmoil disturbed them.a
Then they were joined by four other zealous men.
These take up arms under the same commander;
Rejecting the world with its destructive enticements,
They wage war upon the malicious demons and impose

30Silence on the stupid ranting of the flesh.
When Francis had brought the number of his comrades
To equal the Apostolic assembly,b some noised it
Abroad that at hand were the last days of the world 1 Tm 4:1
Of whose end an unknown Order would be herald.c

35But as for Francis, gladness filled his heart Ps 119:32 [Vulgate, Ps 118:32]
At the coming of each one to undertake to join his war on sin.
Whate'er a man's condition, fortune, age, none is turned away.
Admitted is every man that comes, nor is he ever levied:
The good man and the bad, the lofty and the lowly,

40The rustic and the knight, the commoner and man
Of noble blood, the cleric and the layman, the raw
And the refined, the pauper and the rich man,
The freeman and the serf, the healthy and the sick.
And Francis to them all a loving welcome gives.

45What draws them is the doctrine he taught, his exemplary life,
Lending weight to the spotless word he speaks.d
Lest his teaching come to grief as roundabout and vague,
The brothers of his company he instructs in such wise
That for brothers of the future there would be clear rules of action.

50He puts it all in writing, bidding everything contain
The tenor of the Gospel. Yet lest he who was the founder
Of an Order that was novel appear arrogant in attempting
The impossible, he would have the apostolic records
Give permanence to whatever came from his dictation.

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Et quid pertulerint in itu redituque loquuntur.
Innocuos victus et spiritualia fratrum
Gaudia zelantes nullo turbata tumultu,
Quatuor accedunt diversi, qui sub eodem

25Arma capessentes ductore, nocivaque mundi
Blandimenta sequi renuentes, bella malignis
Indicunt furiis stolidaeque silentia carni.
Cum tot apostolici numerum complente senatus
Francisco sociis, rumor diffunditur, et sunt

30Tempora qui dicant instare novissima mundi,
Cuius inauditus finem praenuntiet Ordo.
Sed cor Francisci dilatant gaudia, quando
Quilibet accedens vitiis indicere bellum
Aggreditur; non conditio, fortuna vel aetas

35Ulla recusatur: veniens admittitur omnis
Et sine delectu, bonus et malus, altus et imus,
Rusticus et miles, ignobilis et generosus,
Clericus et laicus, rudis et discretus, egenus
Et dives, servus et liber, sanus et aeger;

40Affectuque pio Franciscus suscipit omnes.
Eius eos documenta trahunt, exemplaque vitae
Irreprehensibi1is verbis adhibentia pondus.
Neve per ambages eius doctrina vagetur,
Fratribus instituit praesentibus, unde futuris

45Eniteat quid agant, quidquid decrevit agendum,
In scriptis redigens, Evangeliique tenore
Sic fieri debere docens. Ne vero videri
Possit inauditi temerarius Ordinis auctor
Et quasi praesumens de se nimis ardua, quidquid

50Dictat apostolico vult perpetuare registro.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 469

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