The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 449 

120For me; since more than gem or gold and more than silver I desire
That talent. As for you, if you've the will for it, believe!
Or stay, if you wish, incredulous still! As for me, who have tasted
The honey of divine goodness, from the love of God, whose true
Perfection is in Christ Jesus, neither human nor angel will snatch me;

125Neither prince nor power, neither hope nor fear, neither height
Nor depth, neither death nor life, neither present nor future!"
It was a stiff-lipped Francis that delivered this speech.
The father, seeing his firm and final resolve, switches to other matters.
He cannot win the man; instead he will extort his money.

130The cash, which he values less than dirta and which he'd thrown
On the window, Francis takes and returns to his greedy father.
But the father in his violence has not finished yet.
Forgetting a father's love, to his son he denies the basest
Because he begs for the greatest things of all; since he longs to have

135God as father, he refuses any longer to be called his father;
And since his heart is set on Christ and on being his co-heir,
He cannot have him succeed him as heir. Rom 8:17 He then compels him
To go to the bishop's house, with all the townspeople there,
That in their presence he shall all rights renounce

140To property, grounds and paternal home.
The virtuous Francis, aggrieved by his father's fury,b
Goes even further with his thorough renouncing:
Lest he appear to keep anything he gave him as gift,
He feels for his belt and unties it,c and stripped of all

145His clothes, he lays them down, including his trousers.
Without a stitch, stark naked he stands, for all the world like Adam.d
But he differs from Adam in this: he suffers freely what Adam
Was forced to endure; he suffers by merit what Adam endured for sin;
And yet he is penalized as Adam was—though in a different way:

150Exposed was the shamefulness of Adam, while no shame
Is discovered in him. Where is the shame in a naked body
When the vesture of its soul is honor? Wherein did this




Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Argentumve; super topazion et super aurum
Et super argentumq desidero tale talentum.
Tu, si vis, credas; si vis, incredulus esto!

140Me, qui gustavi divinae mel pietatis,
A caritate Dei, cuius perfectio vera
In Christo Iesu consistit, non homo sive
Angelus avellet, non princeps sive potestas,
Non spes sive timor, non celsum sive profundum,

145Non mors seu vita, non instans sive futurumr!".
Talia Franciscus rigido pronuntiat ore.
Cuius ut omnino videt irrevocabile votum,
Ad diversa pater se transfert, et revocare
Personam nequiens vult extorquere monetam.

150Aera, fimo minus appretians, immissa fenestrae
Tollit Franciscus patrique resignat avaro.
Nec desistit adhuc saevus pater, immo paterni
Immemor affectus, nato quia summa petenti
Ima negat, patremque Deum cupientis habere

155Abnuit ulterius dici pater, et quia Christo
Mente cohaerendo Christi studet esse coheress,
Heredem non posse sibi succedere censet;
Pontificisque domum compellit adire repletam
Civibus, in quorum conspectu censibus, agris

160Et patriis domibus iurique renuntiet omni.
Francisci virtus, patris indignata furori,
Non modo praedictis omnino renuntiat, immo
Ex eius dono ne quid videatur habere,
Circa se palpat zonamque recingit, et omnes

175Exutus vestes etiam femoralia ponit.
Stat sine veste palam nudoque simillimus Adae;
In causa tantum distat status huius et eius:
Suffert iste libens, quod sustulit ille coactus;
Suffert hic propter meritum, quod sustulit ille

180Propter delictum; tamen hic punitur ut ille.
Sed secus: eius enim patuere pudenda, sed huius
Nulla pudenda patent. Quid enim caro nuda pudendum
Offerret, cuius animam vestivit honestas?
Quae fuit haec virtus? Mundum contemnere, mundo

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 449