The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 448 

He, devoid of fear, speaks up:a "Father—or rather, stepfather—
Why fix me in chains, and why do you threaten me with torture?
Your shackles or your torture instruments I shall not smash;

90They are hammers that strike in vain upon ice-cold iron!
O what foolishness in a savage father! Are you trying to fool me,
Hoping to seduce me with dire threats? I cannot be fooled,b
Or lured, or yield to your threats. Christ the way, truth, and life Jn 14:6
Stands on my right, so that I shall not be moved. Ps 16:8 [Vulgate, Ps 15:8] Nor will I beg you

95To spare me. So fight like a man, so I can fight you fairly.
I owe more to God than to you; shall I neglect God's commands
For you? You have given me human birth; but God did more
In endowing me with life: He made us, we belong to Him. Ps 100:3 [Vulgate, Ps 99:3]
Hanging on the cross it was God who redeemed us; and He who reigns

100In the heavens will save, not all, but only those that prove
Themselves faithful. Human faith is something owing to God,
And we are of His fashioning. Everyone who believes in him
Will be saved from shame—though it depends on how he believes.
A man could have faith on his lips but not in his soul; or

105The other way round; but he should have both. He may not conclude
He has faith that is real, till he makes it complete in the two.
If you want to be faithful fully, you must hold your soul
In your hands and prove your faith by your works. What do you advise
Me to do? Through what works can I show I am a believer?

110Shall I carry on outside and cheat all the faithful in my usual way,
Now as buyer, now as seller? As buyer, running down goods;
As seller, exalting their merits. The art of a merchant is all
Cheating and fraud; he makes his money as others lose out.
Even a friend is not spared, no, nor a kinsman. Him whom

115Our neighbor, then, knows is a fraud, shall we regard as faithful
To God? Since no one is saved without faith, Eph 2:8 let me then have faith
That is perfect, that perfects my salvation. Jas 2:2 But keep far from me
Things acquired through deceit! When the talent of perfect faith
Comes my way, no topaz, no gold, no silver will hold any delights




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Ille metu vacuus: " Pater, immo vitrice ", dixit,

100 "Ut quid vincla paras, ut quid tormenta minaris?
Tormentis vinclisque tuis non frangar; uterque
Malleus incassum gelido dat verbera ferro.
O saevi scelerata patris dementia! Me vis
Fallere, me speras seducere fata minando?

105Non potero falli, seduci, fata subire;
Adstat namque mihi veritas, via vitaque Christus
A dextris, ne commovearl. Nec supplico quod tu
Parcas, sed facias bene pugnans ut bene pugnem.
Nonne Deo plus quam tibi debeo? Vis ut omittam

110Propter te mandata Dei? Tu me genuisti;
Ipse magis fecit, quia vitam contulit; Ipse
Fecit nos et non ipsi nosm; Ipse redemit
In cruce suspensus, salvabit in aethere regnans
Non omnes, sed quos opus indicat esse fideles.

115Estque fides humana Deo res debita, cuius
Omnes plasma sumus; omnis qui credit in illum
Non confundetur sed refert quomodo credat.
Esse potest aliquis non mente sed ore fidelis,
Aut e converso: sit utroque; nec inde sequetur

120Quod sit vera fides, in eis completa duobus.
Si quis enim plene velit esse fidelis, oportet
Ut ferat in manibus animam, fideique probandae
Attestetur opus. Quid consulis ergo gerendum?
Per quod opus potero me demonstrare fidelem?

125Insistamne foris, circumveniamque fideles,
Ut soleo, nunc emptor opum, nunc venditor: emptor
Omnia depretians, et venditor omnia laudans?
Ars mercatorum dolus et fallacia: damno
Alterius sibi lucra facit, vix parcit amico,

130Vix etiam fratri. Quem proximus ergo, dolosum
Sentit, eumne Deo censebimus esse fidelem?
Absque fide nemo salvaturo: ut ergo sit in me
Consummata fidesp et completiva salutis,
Acquisita dolis possessio sit procul a me!

135Perfectae fidei mihi proveniente talento,
Nil in quo delecter habet topazius, aurum
Argentumve; super topazion et super aurum

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 448