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 The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 513 

The swamp of Maeos on to hostile shores,a
Or all the secrets in the sea's far corners

15That we in our clime are not wont to see:
How far more wondrous this man to behold
Here now—though not here, for he is totally in a realm above— Prv 8:28
And on earth to have sight of a celestial citizen.
Although he is distraught by a world of cares

20The pope receives him fain, and all of the purpled
Brethren graciously bid him welcome; yet none more kindly
Than Hugo, under whom in those days flourished happy
Ostia. His was it to fill the role of bishop to the whole wide
World, and hold the leading-strings of the human race.

25Such qualities of character, the utmost height of honor,
And so many more endowments, did God and nature confer
Upon one man, that he alone was recipient of
An entire world's share, and through his mediation
The fountain of religion flows forth for all.b

30Since the aforementioned physician is unable to produce
Any remedy, everything he thought up having been tried,
•Of yet another doctor there is rumor in town,
One that was practised in aiding eyes that were ailing;
Prudent he was, urbane, senior in years, and dwelt in urban

35Siena.c To him, also, Francis goes; but none of his cures
Will relieve the pain. Suffering instead his entire body
Pervades, and produces the symptoms that accompany death.
The liver fails, the stomach swells, and by dint of both
Ills, blood, nature's seat and food digester,d

40Is vomited, the veins within the diaphragm being ruptured.
When news of these great woes reaches the ears of Friar

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Hostica Maeotidas emittit in ora paludes,
Aut longo quaecumque maris secreta recessu

15Climatibus nostris non assuevere videri;
Quanto maius erat mirabiliusque videre
Hic hominem, qui non erat hic, sed in aethere sursum a
Totus, et in terris caelestem cernere civem.
Ipse licet mundi curas distractus in omnes

20Papa libens admittit eum, cunetique benigne
Suscipiunt fratres, cunctisque benignius Hugo,
Sub quo florebat tunc temporis Ostia felix,
Cuius erat proprius qui toti sufficit orbi
Praesul, et humani generis moderatur habenam:

25Cui genus et mores, cui summi culmen honoris,
Cui reliquas, dotes Deus et natura tot uni
Contulit, ut toto quidquid debebat in orbe
Distribui, solus perceperit, et mediante
Derivetur eo fons religionis in omnes.

30Cumque supradictus non posset ferre medelam
Physicus, experto quidquid prodesse putabat,
Alterius medici defertur fama per urbem,
Qui laesis solitus oculis succurrere prudens,
Urbanusque senex habitabat in urbe Senensi.

35Hunc item Franciscus adit, nullaeque dolorem
Alleviant curae, sed totum passio corpus
Occupat, et quaedam parit accessoria morti:
Marcet hepar, turget stomachus, vitioque duorum
Naturae sedes alimentaque mitia sanguis

40Evomitur, ruptis intra praecordia venis.
Tantis fama malis aures ubi fratris Heliae
Perculit, accelerat dilectum visere patrem:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 513

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