The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 432 

About the heart.a In his small veins a fluid is produced
By the burning heat of fever;b while an inside warmth melts

100An exterior phlegm. Over sensitive nerves spreads
A freezing sensation, that bristles his headc and brings on a tremor.
The patient trembles whilst seething, seethes whilst trembling,
Numbed are his nerves as they bear the unusual cold.
But once the numbness ends its customary lingering stay,

105The nerves settle down and the trembling also is stilled.
But the raging heat still persists; so violent in its first stages
It hastens to melt rather than consume, and in its last stages
To consume rather than melt. Thinned is the blood in that body,
Scarcely enough to hold vital energies. Francis, sore pressed

110By such troubles, is losing all hope in this life, and all but all
Hope in the next. When in his struggle, the fear of both hits him,
He knows not what to do. He repents of an ugly past life
And his tears are mixed with his sighs.
He who looks on the sigh of the heart Ps 38:9 [Vulgate, Ps 37:9] with fatherly pity,

115Who rejects not the crushed heart, Ps 51:19 [Vulgate, Ps 50:19] lifts up the sick man,
Raises the fallen and consoles him who cries. Ps 145:14 [Vulgate, Ps 144:14]
Gone are the slave's troubles at a nod from the Lord.
There is nothing that withstands the divine will.
At once to the heart all vital energies are mustered,

120On a determined day, nature with violent onslaught
Slays morbid symptoms, warms limbs with its heat,
Regulates pulse and tone to urine restores.d
The sick man grows enlivened and, seeing he's emerged
From a perilous crisis, he gladly praises the Doctor Above

125And acclaims life's Author and Lord.
Then one day he goes out through the fields round his house;e




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Interiorque calor dum phlegma liquefacit extra,
Supra sensibiles nervos aspergitur ille
Algor et horripilat caput inducitque tremorem,

100Quo patiens fervendo tremit fervetque tremendo.
Frigora namque stupent nervi desueta ferentes;
At postquam longa stupor assuetudine cessat,
Tunc nervi resident, tunc et tremor ille quiescit.
Sed fervor persistit adhuc, vehementia cuius

105Circa principium properat dissolvere plus quam
Consumat, circa finem consumere plus quam
Dissolvat; toto rarescit corpore sanguis,
Spiritibus vix est in quo consistere possint.
Francisco, quem tanta premunt incommoda, vitae

110Praesentis spes nulla datur, vix ulla futurae;
Cumque laboranti timor incutiatur uterque,
Ignarum quid agat, vitae deformiter actae
Poenitet, et lacrimas inter suspiria fundit.
Respiciens cordis gemitum pietate paterna,

115Qui cor contritum non despicit allevat aegrum,
Erigit elisum consolaturque gementem.
Ad nutum Domini cessant ìncommoda servi:
Nulla voluntati divinae causa resistit;
Spiritibusque simul accitis omnibus ad cor,

120Praefixo natura die symptomata morbi
Occursu vehemente necat, proprioque calore
Membra fovens, pulsum regit urinamque colorat.
Aeger alacrescit, tantique pericula visus
Evasisse mali, Medicum laudare supernum

125Gaudet et Auctorem vitae Dominumque fatetur.
Inde die quodam patrios egressus in agros,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 432