The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 517 

The Fourteenth Book

FINALLY, THE DEATH WITH WHICH HE CLOSED HIS LAST DAY. THE MARKS ON HIS FLESH, THE HONORS HE WAS RAISED TO AND BY WHOM, HOW HE CAME TO LIVE HAPPY WITH CHRIST FOREVER.

SOARS that hale spirit now to skies above,
For weighty woes no longer hold it here.a
And passing by Lethe, no draught of oblivion shall it taste,b
But equal and free, its starry abode revisit and paternal

5Home, to take up on high one day its partnered flesh.
Marvel at the contrasts in these events!c The same that lies
On earth takes his stand amongst the stars; just now
He sleeps, but wakes to live for ever there; death claims
Him here, life there; here dies he in time, alive is he

10There for an endless age; not really human here, nor spirit;
A spirit human is he there, a human of the spirit, a saint
In realms both. Here his mark was of one accurst,
But kindly consecration there.d
All present observe the signs that show the death of Christ,

15As they look at five wounds rose-red with blood
In the flesh of the blessed Francis:
The feet and the palms with the nails, the right side
As with a lance transfixed, as on a cross
The body spread. And the passion of Jesus had left

20Every mark, entirely present here in this man.
O new and marvellous thing! Who heard tell of it ever before?
Who, beside Francis, in actual parts of the body

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Liber XIV

Concludit quartusdecimus qua morte supremum clauserit ille diem; quae carnem signa notarint; Quam celse fuerit auctorizatus et a quo; Quomodo cum Christo vivat per saecla beatus.

Sanus ad haec aegra non passus mole teneri
Amplius, in superas evadit spiritus auras;
Nullaque praeteriens Lethen oblivia gustat,
Sed patriam sedem comparque revisitat astrum

5Liber, et annexam rapturus in aethera carnem.
O rerum contrarietas mirabilis! Idem,
Qui iacet in terris, stat in astris; hic modo dormit,
Semper ibi vigilat; hic mortuus est, ibi vivus;
Mortuus hic ad tempus, ibi per saecula vivus,

10Hic in re vera nec homo nec spiritus, illic
Spiritus humanus, homo spiritualis, utrimque
Sanctus, sed proprie sacer hic, ibi dicitur almus.
Praesentes Christi repraesentantia mortem
Signa notant, dum quinque vident in carne beati

15Vulnera Francisci roseo respersa cruore.
Clavi namque pedes et palmas, lancea dextrum
Transfixisse latus, crux distendisse videtur
Corpus, et in Iesu signum quodcumque reliquit
Passio, sic penitus se repraesentat in isto.

20O novitas miranda! quis hoc audivit ab aevo?
Praeter Franciscum quis partibus insita certis

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 517

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