The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 439 

And in the wake of Avarice comes this treacherous faction:
Fraud, Guile, Treason, Murders, Stratagems, Robberies,
Wicked Love-of-gain, Double-dealing,

60Grasping Ambition and time-selling Usury,
And scandalous Simony that markets the heavenly.
Thus as she tries to check the depression Acedia brings,
Avarice profits by delighting the eye.
Plasters on the outside do no good if hidden forces

65Are reeking havoc within! For inside you have Gluttony
Attracting the palate to her delights, she whom no amount
Of provisions can sate. Gluttony's attendants are these:
Eating-too-much, a mouth that works like a mill, grindstone teeth,
A bottomless belly that's like a sack where we throw all our rubbish.

70Meals upon meals; gross face; crude belch. And when ready to burst,
The maw still hankers for more. Drunk to the loss of all reason,
Thirsting whilst drinking, drinking whilst thirsting, filling up
Cups and finishing those that are filled. Things end with
Stammering speech, reeling steps and dullness of sense,

75Swollen stomach, languid heart, withered look. Then a loathing
For drinking brings the first weary sleepishnessa into heavy limbs.
Despite all the demolishing Gluttony did, she did not get as far
As the soul's own proper recesses. Is there no way then of comforting
The inward sorrow of the mind? To this end, up jumps her sister

80Nearest in line, Lust, who tampers with the senses of humans
And gets them to sin within, not outside, their own hearts.
As soon as she's sorry, she is glowing with eager desire;
Ready to be a slave, she turns into a savage; she starts off to play
And soon turns to blows; if she wishes to soothe someone she smears him,

85To make one contented she wounds him; at first she's like Venus
But she's actually venomous. Vast is the horde that rushes past
The quarters of Lust: Pleasure, who will loathe sick souls




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

60Terrenis inhiare iubens, animainque creatis
Oblectare bonis, cui se negat ipse Creator.
Sunt et Avaritiae quae perfida castra sequantur:
Fraus, Dolus, Impietas, Homicidia, Furta, Rapinae,
Lucrandi sceleratus Amor, Mercatio dispar,

65Ambitioque tenax, Usuraque tempora vendens,
Et res caelestes mercans Simonia scelesta.
Accidiae sic tristitiam compescere tentat
Quaestus Avaritiae per delectantia visum.
Sed quid agunt emplastra foris, cum saeviat intus

70Causa latens? Ideo Gula delectantia gustum
Attrahit interius, nullo contenta paratu;
Assistuntque Gulae: Modus immoderatus edendi,
Osque molendinum, dentes mola, venter abyssus,
Cui quasi pertuso committimus omnia sacco,

75Coena frequens, facies gravis, eructatio cruda,
Et cum pene crepat, ad plura cibaria semper
Ingluvies inhians, alienativaque mentis
Ebrietas sitiendo bibens sitiensque bibendo
Et calices replens vacuos vacuansque repletos;

80Cuius ut ad finem balbutit lingua, vacillat
Gressus, hebet sensus, turgent praecordia, languet
Cor, marcet vultus; tunc primum meta bibendi
Nausea lethargum membris inducit onustis.
Tot bona dilapidans Gula, cum non influat usque

85Ad proprios animae secessus, quomodo fiet
Mentis et interni consolativa doloris?
Prosilit ergo soror coniuncta propinquius et quae
Non homines extra faciat peccare sed in se,
Humani sensus immutativa Libido.

90Cuius enim, mox poeniteat, flagrat anxia voto;
Dum servire parat, saevit; dum ludere, laedit;
Si quem vult lenire, linit; si quem satiare,
Sauciat; in primis Venus est, in fine venenum.
Plurima turba ruit post castra Libidinis: aegros

95Millesies animos fastiditura Voluptas
Et totidem placitura modis; suspiria tract

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 439