The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 446 

25Held out to me, shall I undergo death? Celestial freedom
I could enjoy; shall I be damned in some Lethean dungeon?a
Ill it becomes you begetting for hell one you begot for this life.
Too high is the cost of carnal paternity, if it generates also
The soul's corruption. We are all in an exile, you surely must know,

30And from here is our journey as we seek our true homeland. Heb 11:14
The world is our exile, our roadway is time, our fatherland heaven.
What a crime on your part to prefer exile to home and journey to goal!
Why store up treasure, you who will live but an hour? What profit
Seek you from this profusion of wealth? With old age coming on

35And your life near its close, you're a fool to pile up travel supplies.
What was a help once to have, will shame you to have had;
For "having" is a boon that is brief, while "to have had'" will mean
Perennial penury. So, lest you do things and miss your salvation,
Give up these false doctrines and become a learner once more.

40Flee the world and its fortunes before the day they fly away;
While there is time, Gal 6:10 remember you can't have the world
As well as God to enjoy. As you walk away from the world, trip it up,
Or it'll trip you up. Gn 27:36 Ps 17:13 [Vulgate, Ps 16:13] A shaky believing merits no glory,
And everything's shaky in this world of ours; so let your trust in it be nil.

45Rather, trust in the Lord, for happy is the one who trusts in him, Jer 17:7
For he will suffer no loss and will go on living for ever.
For this, to abandon the mundane was my own wish; at least be said
By that example of mine. Should the world's glory be yours,
The whole globe on its knees before you alone, so that you could tell

50Flintstones to talk and magpies be silentb—none of that would bring
You salvation. The day of reckoning's at hand, that will all of a sudden
Grab and make off with all you have got. And you shall end up naked, Eccl 5:14
And your fall will be all the lower, for having flown so high.
Maybe you'd find the Lord's yoke not easy, nor his burden light— Mt 11:30




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Quam semel evasi? Vis ut, qui vivere-possum,
Interitum subeam? Vis ut, qui caelibe possum
Libertate frui, lethaeo carcere damner?
Non decet ut generes inferno, quem generasti

30Mundo; constaret nimii generatio carnis,
Si generaretur per eam corruptio mentis.
Scis equidem quod in exsilio consistimus omnes,
Inde viam facimus, patriamque requirimus ; estque
Exsilium mundus, via tempus, patria caelum.

35Ergo quam graviter delinquis, cuius abusu
Exsilium patriae praeponitur et via metae!
Cur thesaurizas, ubi vix habitabis ad horam?
Ad quod opus tot quaeris opes? Vergente senecta,
Expliciente via, cumulare viatica stultum est.

40Nam quod habere iuvat, habuisse pigebit: habere
Est brevis utilitas; habuisse perennis egestas.
Ergo, ne quid agas in detrimenta salutis,
Parce magisteriis erroris, et indue formam
Discipuli: fugienda prius sunt prospera mundi,

45Quam fugiant; dum tempus habese, mundoque Deoque
Te recolas non posse frui; mundumque relinquens
Supplantes illum, ne supplanterisf ab illo.
Cum nihil inconstans fidei mereatur honorem
Nullaque mundanis insit constantia rebus,

50Ex huiuscemodi tibi sit fiducia tamquam
Nulla; sed in Domino potius confide: beatus
Vir qui confidit in eog, quia non patietur
Defectum cuiusque boni vivetque per aevum.
Inde mihi placuit mundana relinquere; saltem

55Exemplo doceare mei! Si gloria mundi
Sit tua, si totus soli tibi supplicet orbis,
Ut facias silicesque loqui picasque silere,
Hoc totum tibi non poterit praestare salutem.
Instat enim suprema dies, quae cuncta repente

60Surripiet demetque tibi; nudusqueh redibis
Inferiusque cades, quo plus sublime volasti.
Forte iugum Domini non lene putabis onusque
Non levei, praesertim quia deliciosus es? Absit

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 446