The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 488 

160Wholly, always and everywhere outside of place and time.
Where pride comes from, and how Lucifer, once "morning star,"
Is now laden with murky mud; at what price the world's
Redemption was wrought, and what reasons brought
The incarnation; how it was the ancient serpent seduced

165Eve, 2 Cor 11:3 Eve the first man formed, the first-formed man
His posterity, how that posterity betrayed Christ, how Christ
Outwitted the serpent, death now driven back whence it sprang.
How not only is Christ's body glorified,
But while it glorifies other bodies,

170His living flesh adorning the soul with gifts,
He is fully at one and the same time in divers churches,
And how Christ assembles all his holy people into his Church;
How Baptism is a spiritual cleansing power
That purifies souls of the stain of the first parent.

175While he thus teaches the articles of faith with skillful
Tongue, he impresses sages and king, and nobody dares
To harm him. Indeed heralds are bidden to make this
Their cry: "Often may he come and go among us."a Yet on his own
He is unable to convert so many Persians; and as ministers

180Which his plan badly needed are missing, he is forced to give up
The venture, and is borne over the seas by a homeward wind.b
Returning to his native soilc with only one friar,
He urges not alone humans but the very beasts of the field
To utter the divine praises. And oft did the wonder occur

185That though they lacked the power of reason they would obey
His words to them and understand him when he spoke.
His delight was to visit the various parts of his land
And while near Bevagna he espies an assortment of birds
Congregated in a closely knit flock;d a mild bravery

190Was making them await his kindly approach. Yet he wonders
Why, and how they could come to know the secret

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Quam mirabiliter essentia talis ubique
Tota sit absque loco semper sine tempore praesens.

160Unde superbierit, et quomodo qui fuit olim
Lucifer est lutifer, quantoque redemptio mundi
Constiterit pretio, quibus incarnatio causis;
Qualiter antiquus serpens seduxerit Evam,
Eva protoplastum, protoplastus posteritatem,

165Posteritas Christum, serpentem Christus, in ipsum
A quo prodierat compulsa morte reverti;
Quomodo non solum caro glorificata, sed ipsa
Glorificans alias, Christi caro vivida dotes
Excellens animae simul et semel undique tota

170Diversis sit in ecclesiis, et qualiter unam
Christus in Ecclesiam sanctos confoederet omnes;
Quomodo Baptismus sit spirituale lavacrum,
Emundans animas a primi labe parentis.
Articulos fidei dum, sic docet ore diserto,

175Philosophos regemque movet, nullusque nocere
Audet ei; praeconis enim sic voce iubetur.
Itque reditque frequens; sed tot convertere Persas
Cum per se non sufficiat desintque ministri
Propositum quibus eius eget, desistere coeptis

180Cogitur et reduci fertur super aequora vento.
Ad natale solum cum solo fratre reversus,
Non homines solum, verum pecuaria laudes
Divinas efferre iubet, mireque frequenter
Accidit ut, quamvis ratione carentia, verbis

185Eius obedirent intelligerentque loquentem.
Dumque iuvat patriae diversos visere fines,
Iuxta Bevanium collectas agmine denso
Cernit aves varias, quibus exspectare benignum
Ipsius accessum placido ducentibus ausu,

190Causam miratur, et mansuetudinis eius
Unde datum sit eis arcanum scire tenorem

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 488

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