The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 436 

215With a heart that is stilla he is wondering who
The panoply’s possessor may be,
When from heaven he hears a reply: “God with these arms
Shall you and your comrades array.”
Up he gets with exceeding rejoicing to interpret

220The glad expedition he was on. But the more keenly run
His inner reflections, the more he comes to consider
These gifts to belong, not to laurels mundane,
But rather to triumphs that are true to their name.
From now on it is for spiritual battles

225He prepares himself, so he changes his plan and decides
Not to go to Apulia. Why indeed should he work to gain money,
Since gaining money is a thing to be scorned? Now
With a different mind, what he valued so much he rejects,
From what he eagerly sought he escapes, all he once loved

230He abhors. “Using force on himself”—for, he recalls,
The kingdom of heaven has opened to force Mt 11:12—he resolves
Not to go. He discards the fixed ways of so many years
And as refuse regards the goods to which he was used.
An old grotto, abandoned for years (you find them in Italy),b

235Stood a short distance away from the town.
In secret Francis used to betake himself thereto;
And once with more than usual ardor Lk 22:43c and more prolonged
He makes his prayer that the Lord convert Lam 5:21 him and not let
His mind, clinging now to things above, fall back to things of earth.

240His plea goes up to heaven high, is inscribed
By the finger of God’s right hand Dt 9:10, stamped with the seal of the holy
And life-giving Cross, so that he is enabled to manfully subdue
His foe, and no longer crave for transient things.




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

220Dum tacito secum scrutatur pectore quis sit
Armorum dominus, responsum caelitus audit:
" Te sociosque tuos Deus his insigniet armis ".
Inde nimis, gaudens expergefit, et sibi laetum
Coniecturat iter; sed quo subtilius intra

225Se studet, hoc munus minus ad mundana referri
Pensat, et ad veros potius spectare triumphos.
Hine ad bella parans se spiritualia, mutat
Propositum, nec in Apuliam decernit eundum.
Ut quid enim, si lucra decet contemnere, propter

230Lucra laboraret? Mutatus, quae vehementer
Appretiatus erat, contemnit; quae studiose
Quaesierat, refugit; quae semper amaverat, odit.
Vimque sibi faciens, pensans quia vim patiatur
Regnum caelorum, sibimet contrarius ire

235Sustinet, et multo praescriptos tempore mores
Exuit, et solitas reputat quasi stercora merces.
Crypta vetus multis iam desolata diebus,
Ut fit in Ausonia, modicum distabat ab urbe.
Secreto consuetus eam Franciscus adire,

240Fervidius solito semel et prolixius orat,
Ut Dominus convertat eum, mentemque supernis
Haerentem numquam sinat ad terrena relabi.
Cuius in excelsis admissa petitio, dextrae
Scripta Dei digito, bullata charáctere sanctae

245Vivificaeque Crucis, superare viriliter hostem
Obtinet et rebus non plus inhiare caducis.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 436