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 The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 515 

75And although seeing final destiny appear,
Naught dreads he who for aught mortal never craved;
Scorns he the sadness of dying, Sir 37:1 since he had but scorn
For the pleasures of living.a Then those he loved as partners
In work he prays will share also his wages Jn 4:36 on high.

80And that his soul may bless them before he dies, Gn 27:4
He calls them allb together around him,
And through those present he sends to the absent a message
Of all that seems goodly, and prays upon both his farewell.c
Meanwhile as the father's sad departure approaches,

85Grief runs free as for a funeral, and touches hearts 2 Chr 34:27
With emotion and to faces brings rivers Is 41:18 of tears.
He, wishing not that there be cause for his friends to mourn,d
Says: "Why weep for me, Lk 23:28 when I for you instead
Should weep? For I go back to my fatherland,

90Whereas exile detains you still. After the torments I've
Been through, I rest; but you toil on. I am in the city
Where I belong, but you are pilgrims still. Heb 11:13 Led through
Fire and water, Ps 66:12 [Vulgate, Ps 65:12] I am brought relief, and a bright horizon
Makes up for dangers on the way. Was not the life I lived

95A death, and what but life shall my death bring? Mt 10:39 This life
I have reckoned loss for Christ, who his life lost for us; 1 Jn 3:16
And payment he will kindly give me for the loss, salvation
For the ruin. Long have I fought 2 Tm 4:7 and sighed and gone
Without food. And now at last these many struggles

100Ended, I march on triumphant, after all the sighing
I walk in gladness, all fasting finished I go full fed.
Why should I detain you and say much more?
Wretched was I here, a pity to behold, lowest of the low,
Death's own, tired out. But summoned now to the kingdom,




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

75Et quamvis extrema videns emergere fata,
Nulla timet, quia nulla cupit mortalia, spernit
Tristitiam mortis quia sprevit gaudia vitae,
Et quos participes gaudebat habere laboris,
Consortes etiam summae mercedis habere

80Obsecrat, utque prius benedicat quam moriatur
Eius eis anima, circa se convocat omnes,
Et per praesentes absentibus omnia mandat
Quae mandanda placent, et utrosque valere precatur.
Interea moesto patris accedente recessu,

85Exit in exsequias dolor, emollitaque corda
Stringit et in facies rivos deducit aquarum.
Ille suis nolens exsistere causa doloris:
" Propter me quid fletis ", ait, " qui flere tenerer
Propter vos potius? Ego namque repatrio, sed vos

90Exsilium retinet; ego post tormenta quiesco,
Vos sudatis; ego sum civis, vos peregrini.
In refrigerium per aquam traducor et ignem,
Discrimenque viae compensat gloria metae.
Quid nisi mors mea vita fuit, vel quid nisi vita

95Mors erit? Hanc animam pro Christo perdere duxi,
Pro nobis perdente suam, reddetque benignus
Pro damno lucrum, pro perditione salutem.
Iam qui certavi suspiravique frequenter
Et ieiunavi, post tot certamina o tandem

100Vado triumphatum, post tot suspiria vado
Gavisum, post tot ieiunia vado comestum.
Quid vos verborum multiplicitate tenerem?
Hic miser, hic moestus, hic infimus, hic moribundus,
Hic ego fessus eram; sed nunc ad regna vocatus

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 515

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