The Versified Life of Saint Francis (after 1283) - 82 

Falling to climbing upward, haughtiness to concession,
Excess to acts of merit, wickedness to doing of good.

So was it in Francis, these opposing poles were at work.
The doubled strength he got from falling, like that of Antaeus,
Fought all the better, the moment it seemed already lost;
And Francis's own example was an instruction in how
To repulse all sinful ways, for those whom one lapse convicted.

But since it is difficult to attend both to God and world—
For to be sure, there is no one who can serve two masters,
The more eagerly Francis worked at things outside himself,
So much feebler was his rising to things of the spirit.
It is not easy to avoid sin, involved in trading;
Indeed business is the cause of many kinds of evil.
Amid opulence, pomp, and high living, who is unblighted?
Who touches pitch or mud and does not get his hands all stained?
In a word, dregs defile, filthy things foul their handlers;
It is a world where decent men find flawless living hard.
Therefore Francis, albeit by the graver sort of sin
Not affected, nonetheless by involvement in all these
Things mundane, in many ways fell in with a sinful world.
70For near years five and twenty his youth passed in such wise

203Resisted when pressured, of his own will now might obey.
Now when after the sickness Francis had recovered his strength
And had fashioned for himself, as was his wont, elegant clothes,
One noble by birth though now needy, dressed in a pauper's garba

233And as refuse regards the goods to which he was used.
Dismounting, he swiftly ran to him, and most tenderly touched
The leper with kisses, heaping upon him money as well.
Soon upon his horse again, but! leper had vanished and gone,
Nowhere to be seen on all the plain that spread from end to end,
In amazement and in gladness to God did he sing in praise,
From that moment aspiring to soar high to still greater things.
Places remote would hence be his sole seeking wherein to weep,
Wherein the divine pity one day would hear his pleading prayer.
234An old grotto, abandoned for years (you find them in Italy),




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 82