The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 440 

A thousand times over, and has as many ways with her to placate them.
Her sighs are interrupted by deep inflections; there is shameless talk

90As well as little nods and low whispers as of a beggar asking a favor.
A mild irritation helps to form more weighty alliances.
A different look and fresh tears get rid of aversions;
The face of simplicity, real or apparent, touches the soft heart;
Her constant airy appearance and yearning to please

95Are endowments nature denied mortals to devise, though they put their mind to it.
While anxious Love draws source and cause out of all these,
Out springs crazy anxiety, with embraces and kisses, tender allurements,
Incitements, furious furnace of fornication, Adultery, ruin
Of lawful wedlock, and Incest that loosens nature's relationships.

100And what's called Abuse, more ugly than those.
As Francis conducts his plans for war,
They lead in these plaguesa against him:
Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone.
But they are opposed by as many in Aglaia, Pasithea, Euphrosyne,b

105Sisters bred from better stock, defending the side of Francis.
These join him and cause him to become humble and gentle.
From them he learns to be patient in any adversity,
To be fervent and bounteous, to be sober and modest.
Within him the Virtues gain mastery of the vices,

110The Graces of the Furies; Pride yields to Humility;
Envy is wiped out by Kindliness, and Patience eliminates Anger;
Fervency kicks from her feet the contagions of Sloth, as does
Bounteousness with Avarice; Gluttony falls by Sobriety, Libido
By Purity. And the holy army of the divine sisters

115Against that flaunting host fought the war to the finish.
Charity, head of the virtues, to her hero hands heaven-made weapons;
Unerring Modesty tightens the reins on the steed of his flesh,




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

95Millesies animos fastiditura Voluptas
Et totidem placitura modis; suspiria tractu
Intercisa gravi, mendicantesque favorem
Sermo procax nutusque leves humilesque susurri;
Ira superveniens levis ut graviora reformet

100Foedera, diverso pellens fastidia vultu
Et rudibus lacrimis, vel simplicitatis imago
Vera vel apparens, pietatis viscera puisans,
Et phantasma frequens, desideriumque placendi,
Quas homini natura negat confingere dotes

105Sollicita sibi mente studens. Ex omnibus istis
Principium causamque trahens Amor anxius, amens
Prosilit anxietas, amplexus et oscula, molles
Illecebrae, stimuli, fornax in fornice, fornix
In fornace furens, coniugalisque ruina

110Legis Adulterium, naturalisque solutor
Foederis Incestus, et Abusio turpior istis.
Contra Franciscum bellandi vota gerentem
Has introducunt pestes Alecto, Megaera,
Tisiphone; quibus Aegiale, Pasithea, Phrosigne

115Pro defendenda Francisci parte sorores
Opponunt totidem, meliori stirpe creatas.
Haec ad eum veniens humilem facit, illa benignum;
Inde fit adversi patiens cuiuslibet, inde
Fervens, hine largus, hine sobrius, inde pudicus.

120Virtutes igitur vitiis dominantur in ipso,
Et Charites Furiis, humilique Superbia cedit;
Clemens Invidiam, patiens eliminat Iram;
Fervens Accidiae pedibus contagia calcat,
Largus Avaritiae; Gula Sobrietate, Libido

125Victa Pudore iacet; divinarumque sororum
Sacra supradictas debellant agmina pompas.
Virtutum princeps Caritas caelestia tradit
Arma viro; nequiens errare Modestia frenum
Carnis equo firmat, duo cui calcaria totas,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 440