The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 443 

He could never be preferring things vile to things precious,
What's sad to what's happy, losses to gain, unless put up to it

180By infernal Furies, or else that he lacked the use of his reason.
Some also saida he was never cured, as he ought, from that fever,
But that a rear-chamber frenzy was begun,b as fluids were fetched
Up to the brain by the violent beat of his heart.
The father, hearing his son is everywhere mocked,

185In no wise checks his already burning anger
Till he asks his relations and kin to join in his rage;
His ferocious attempt to upset mild people dwelling in peace.
Nor, with fire flaring inside him, does he rage any less
Than when by Apollo's arrow Python was pierced,

190Or when Pallas tore asunder what victorious Arachnec had wrought.
When the son gets to know his father is coming,
He goes and hides in a hole sought out for such need.
He spent a month there without coming out, and grew used
To prayer, for which he was free, and to fasting, in which

195He'd no choice. To a bad father some reverence is due;
And it's not for the child to contend with his parent;
Nor is one wise to trust a quick-tempered man.
But when he remembers those weapons divinely bestowed,
He fears he'll have been unworthy by recoiling from

200Such great endowments, and recovers his scattered incentives.
Shame on the one who would do "mighty deeds" and had lain hid
In such a hole for so long! Divine love drives out human fears;
And with that love in his heart, out he comes to the light
And presents himself to his parents.

205When relatives and kin see him in serious mood, with downcast face,
Grim brow and flesh thin, pale looks and hair tossed, untidy clothes,
They see him so different, they're sure he's someone else




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

195Vilia praeferret, iucundis tristia, lucris
Detrimenta, nisi Furiis agitatus avernis
Esset, et.arbitrio propriae rationis egeret.
Sunt et qui dicant non, sicut oportuit, ipsum
A febre curatum, sed posteriore phrenesim

200In cella genitam, raptis humoribus usque
Ad cerebrum, quos repulerat vehementia cordis.
His pater auditis, quibus irridetur ubique
Filius, accensae nullatenus imperat irae
Quin roget affines consanguineosque furori

205Assentire suo, turbare ferociter audens,
Mansuetos homines habitatoresque quietis
Nec minus incandet, flagrante medullitus igne,
Quam vel Apollinea traiectus arundine Python,
Vel victricis opus discerpens Pallas Arachnes.

210Patris ut adventum praesentit filius, antri
Ingreditur latebras, quod ad hoc providerat; a quo
Per mensem non egrediens, consuetus et illic
Est orare libens et ieiunare coactus.
Defertur quaecumque malo reverentia patri,

215Nec contra patrem refert contendere nati,
Nec debet sapiens committere se furioso.
At postquam collata sibi divinitus esse
Arma recordatur, se munera tanta timendo
Demeruisse timet, sparsasque recolligit iras.

220Fortia gesturum tanto iam tempore tali.
Delituisse specu pudet, humanumque timorem
Excludit divinus amor; quem pectore gestans
Exsilit in lucem seseque parentibus offert.
Affines ipsum consanguineique videntes

230Mente gravem, vultu proclivum, fronte severum,
Carne macrum, facie pallentem, crinibus hirtum,
Vestibus abiectum, cernendo quod ipse sit alter,
Decernunt quod sit alius, quaeruntque: " Quis hic est? ".

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 443