The Versified Life of Saint Francis (after 1283) - 98 

On another occasion Francis lying ill had a wish,
In the Lord, for the soothing of some sound that would cheer him
And that his spirit hard put by disease might find relief.
For music changes our moods, as the minstrel moved Elisha:
At the sound of a harp a fool frolics; a decent man sings praise.
But the honest wish no mortal was found to satisfy,
God fulfilled in his kindness through the service of an angel.
For at the time when it was night and he was still awake,
All at once there sounded, as of a harp's wondrous euphony,
A melody most rare, with so much of delight of feeling
Affecting him, that amid the pleasures of paradise
He thought, in ecstasy of soul, he was already present.

Whilst the swift herald of Christ the seeds of the divine word
Was sowing far and wide, on a certain evening he arrived
At the River Po. As the dark night was now coming down,
There still was road to travel and with many perils fraught.
What should Francis do? Here was the river and there the swamps,
Nor did the dark night allow clear sight of the road ahead.
Said his companion to him: "Father, pray we do not perish
But that the perils we see may cease and not draw near us."
He prayed, and behold, a great light shone forth in that spot,
So that, although the night shrouded other places around,
They, by the rays of this miraculously brilliant light,
Could see not only the road but everything all around,
Till they reached their lodging singing the praise of the Lord.
For these reasons, consider well this great man's qualities:
Fire surrendered to him, water changed, and to his pleasure
An angel bowed, a heavenly light led him on his way;
To prove that to the service of God's servant came all things.

But the range of his humility what words can weave anew?
So much in his possession was the wholeness of this virtue,
It may be viewed as that in him which flourished most of all.
Shunning the heights of veneration and acclaim, at all times
Lesser in name and truth, man of lowest rank he wished to be.

112The praises and deference so very often shown him
Striving to render void, some one brother he would designate
Who, in contradiction of such praises lest perchance pride
Inflate his mind, was to say loud insulting things to him.
And the brother, despite his reluctance in discharging this,
Observing, however, his father's bidding and his wishes,




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 98