The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 505 

His temples were deep and flexuous,a his forehead
Was small and smooth, shallow and linear the arc of his brows,

55The pupils of his eyes were dark and attentive,b like
Quiet and lambent torches; cheerful and pleasant was his
Countenance,c his nose-line natural and unbent, his cheeks
Were hollow and lean,d his lips thin and of moderate size,
Set closely together were his snow-whitee teeth,

60Black was his beard but sparse, his throat drooping and gaunt;f
His deep shoulders were on an upright neck,g
Small were his arms, thin his hands, slender his legs,
His feet were little, while his fingers and toes were long;h
And as for his flesh, it was enclosed in the roughest of garb.

65That was to think of appearance; now you should look at his
Character:i in mentality he was suppliant and simple, in body
Chaste and celibate, in both he was clear and pure; as to
Things above he was rich and noble, poor and lowly in things
Of earth. His waking hours meant thirst and fast, his resting

70Hours meant prayer and vigil, he battled on through both heat
And cold.j Dear and true was his affection, his heart benignk
And thoughtful, he was ever ready and eager to help;
His perception was sharp and agile, well-expressed was his
Speech and lively, warm and keen was his temperament,

75Compassionate and lenient to everyone,l on himself he was harsh
And austere. He was clever and shrewd in things he said,
Foreseeing and wise in things he did; in coming to decisions
Deep-browed and serious, he was swift and prompt with pardon;

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Auris, defossa sinuosaque tempora, levis
Parvaque frons, humiles rectique superciliorum

55Arcus, subnigrae circumspectaeque pupillae,
Pacatae blandaeque faces, iucunda placensque
Effigies, simplex directaque linea nasi,
Exhaustae tenuesque genae, macra pressaque labra,
Coniuncti niveique sedent ex ordine dentes,

60Raris barba pilis nigra, laxis guttura fibris
Marcida, subvectis humeri cervicibus alti,
Brachia parva, manus tenues, subtilia crura,
Exiguique pedes, digiti manuumque pedumque
Proceri, carnemque domans asperrima vestis.

65Corpore perpenso, si vis perpendere mores:
Mente fuit supplex et simplex, carne pudicus
Et caelebs, utroque nitens et purus, in astris
Dives et excelsus, in terris pauper et imus.
Discumbendo sitit et ieiunat, recubando

70Obsecrat et vigilat, bellando sudat et alget;
Affectu dulcis et rectus, corde benignus
Et pius, auxiliis intendens et studiosus,
Sensu perspicuus et mobilis, ore disertus
Et celer, ingenio fervens et acutus, ad omnes

75Clemens et lenis, ad se crudelis et asper.
Ad dicenda sagax et solers, ad facienda
Providus et sapiens, ad discutienda morosus
Et gravis, ad veniam velox et promptus, ad iram

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 505

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