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 The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 472 

115In improving the good, in performing all seemly things.
It cheered Francis to have set eyes on that great father,
And departing, he visits the places sacred to Peter
And Paul, and leads away his happy brothers.
Conversing one with another they lighten the toil

120Of the journey: how kindly the gentle Pope had treated them;
How mad one must be to break with his guidance;
How pleasant for brothers to dwell as one Ps 133:1 [Vulgate, Ps 132:1] under him.
And as they while time away,a talking so much as they walk,
Unknown to them passes much of the day.

125Walking and heat combine to increase their fatigue
And balmy airs all round bring languor to limbs.
Jaded they sit on the ground, weary at the late hour
And from toil; and more than all, hunger calls them
To refresh themselves. Lam 1:11 But there are no means

130Of refreshment in a place so remote.
But God cannot leave his loyal ones uncared for;
And so there happens to come a man from whose bounty
They gladly receive some bread: and lo! the unknown one is gone!
They stand astonished, and one another admonish

135In trusting words to place their hopes in still more gifts
From the supernal goodness. Sure is their confidence
In that supreme good, their past experience creating their future hopes.
A cave keeps in its ample lap the left-over bread
And the gathered broken pieces, Jn 6:12 and there together they dwell

140Some days, nor thence would they fain depart.
But the place has a perilous beauty, adorned as it is
With dense evergreen verdure, patterned with flowersb
Of a thousand hues; and lest allurements of sense stifle
Their wits, much as they might wish to, they must not stay there.c

145The beloved vale of Spoleto welcomes its chosen ones.

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


110Emendare bonos, operari quidquid oportet.
Exhilarat tanti Franciscum visio patris,
A quo dimissus sanctorum limina Petri
Visitat et Pauli, fratresque reducit ovantes.
Alternoque viae relevant sermone laborem:

115Quam placide tractarit eos clementia Papae,
Quam ferale suo moderamine quemque moveri,
Quam sit iucundum fratres habitare sub uno.
Dumque diem fallunt et multa loquuntur eundo,
Imperceptibili motu pars multa diei

120Transit et ingeminat motusque calorque laborem,
Membraque debilitat resolutio multa vaporum.
Fessi considunt in humum, quos hora laborque
Extenuans et causa fames urgentior istis
Ad refocillandas animas invitat; at ipsum

125Quo recreentur abest, propter deserta locorum.
Sed quia deesse nequit divina fidelibus unquam
Cura suis, vir adest, ex cuius munere laeti
Panem suscipiunt: incognitus ille recedit.
Ipsi vero stupent, et ad ulteriora supernae

130Munera sperandum bonitatis voce fideli
Admonet alterutrum, quibus est fiducia summi
Certa boni, spem praeterito faciente futuri.
Panem qui superest, fragmentaque lecta reservat
Extenso spelunca sinu, paucisque diebus

135Conversantur ibi pariter, nec abire liberet;
Sed species suspecta loci, quem densa virore
Gramina perpetuo decorant, quem mille colorum
Flores vermiculant, illectis ne rationem
Sensibus impediat, prohibet residere volentes.

140Suscipit optatos vallis dilecta Spoleti.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 472

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