The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 496 

And reason, she gives thanks for her full health
In her devotion to one she'd not known; and is clear
In her telling of his making the demon depart

150And how it dared not return after his forbidding it.a
Città di Castello was next to warmly welcome him
Who far and wide performed mighty acts of healing.
They plead with him for an obsessed woman whose loud
Screams and horrible sounds disturbed the peace of the people.

155He sends a friar on ahead of him to investigate with all
Care if it is by volition or compulsion, if it be
By a confusing human or devilish the city is being upset.
He complies with the orders he is given, and comes
To probe the occurrence. But the obsessed when she sees

160The one coming isn't Francis, jeers at him,
And sticks out her tongue, and wrinkles her nostrils,
And with twisted mouth starts making various spookish
Faces, and gives the thumb-between-fingers sign.b
He goes away as though baffled, and tells all about

165The jeering of the obsessed woman that he'd endured.
Francis approaches her. Both the demon inside
And the woman possessed cannot bear to look at his face; Est 7:6
It was on the ground she was, writhing. Mk 9:19 A word
Of command from him has the woman on her feet, unpossessed.

170The demon thrust out departs, and makes no venture to return.
As he is in such wise driving the Furies away, performing
Signs Jn 11:47 round the world, healing sick, Mk 6:13 relieving the burdened, Jb 12:21
Francis the preacher is wont to explain all thingsc
With sure method, to be constant and steadfast,

175To scorn no one's face, nor any fear. Wis 8:12
Why, in his eyes a thousand potentates are no more
Than a single pauper; or a thousand experts than a simple soul.
He minds not that it is to one he must preach
Or to many; he works at a sermon intended for one

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Forte videret eam; quae sensus et rationis
Compositae compos, grates utriusque salutis
Ignaro devota refert, liquideque fatetur,
Quod daemon et eo cogente recesserit, et non

150Ausus eo fuerit interdicente reverti.
Tunc energumenis longe lateque medentem
Urbs de Castello devote suscipit, et pro
Obsessa muliére rogat, stridoribus altis,
Vocibus horrisonis populi turbante quietem.

155Ille sibi fratrem praemittit, qui studiose
Investiget, utrum spontanea sive coacta
Humanis soleat turbare tumultibus urbem
Sive diabolicis. Obtemperat ille iubenti,
Et venit ut tentet quidnam sit; sed venientem

160Franciscum non esse sciens obsessa cachinnat,
Et linguam profert, et nares rugat, et ore
Distorto varias intendit pingere larvas,
Et digitis interposito dat pollice ficum.
Ille quasi confusus abit, narratque cachinnum

165Qualiter obsessae perpessus sit mulieris.
Aggreditur Franciscus eam: non sustinet eius
Inclusus daemon obsessaque foemina vultum,
Immo volutatur in terram.Voce iubetur
Ipsius mulier exsurgere libera; daemon

170Exturbatus abit, nulloque revertitur ausu.
Sic exturbantis Furias, facientis in orbe
Signa, diaetantis aegros, relevantis onustos
Mos est Francisci, dum praedicat, omnia certis
Explanare modis, uno persistere vultu,

175Nullius faciem contemnere vel revereri.
Verum non uno plus paupere mille potentes
Extimet, aut uno plus simplice mille peritos;
Sed neque iudicio refert ipsius, an uni
Praedicet an multis, operosus praedicat uni

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 496

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