The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 460 

Having listened therefore to everything demanded of him,
As his own interpreter he knows better than to be of the word

25A hearer only and not a doer. Jas 1:23a He says: "What Christ commands
I must now do. This is my wish, my vow, what my whole soul desires."
What garments he wore he takes off, save the tunic; he will have
No staff in hand, no shoe will grace his feet, no girdle round
His middle. He makes for himself a cross-shaped tunic, for in

30That sign he will crush his defeated foes. He will do with a halter
To wear as a belt; for he'll not make bold to leave his sins to Jdt 7:17
The vengeance of God. Jn 9:27 He himself is his own prosecution and defense!
As witness and as plaintiff and as judge—no legal statute barring thisb
After he's gone through the case and weighed it he convicts himself!

35And his loins that have exposed themselves to seduction's fires
Like robbers he dispatches them by hanging with his triple-knotted rope!c
Reverently fulfilling Jesus' injunctions to his disciples,
Jesus' disciple in his turn he will be, Ps 94:12 [Vulgate, Ps 93:12] willing to be master
For the people and take up the contest against the Furies.

40This will be a new campaign, and its pay will go to Christ,
Where ruthless dedication strips the flesh, and wondrous wisdom
Invests the mind afresh. Lest Jesus' bidding he should do in vain
He wants to use the mind in making good the lost condition
That his body lacked. So, though he not know the Pegasean springd

45Or ever see Parnassus's twin-peaked heights,e he is not slow
To master sacred truth. The Holy Spirit's stronger flame ignites him,
Whence the knowledge of all words proceeds. He who had no doctor
Teach him, teaches now a multitude. Those who know him stand
Astonished as he speaks on things transcending human ken;

50A pupil they had never seen him, now they listen to a teacher.

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Auditis igitur quaecumque poposcerat edi,

35Iamque suo melius sapiens interprete, ne sit
Auditor verbi tantum, sed factor: " Oportet ",
Inquit, " ut hoc faciam quod Christus praecipit: hoc est
Quod volo, quod voveo, quod totis opto medullis ".
Dixerat. Et praeter tunicam deponit amictus

40Quotquot habet: non virga manum, non calceus ultra
Exornare pedem sinitur, non cingulus alvum;
Componitque sibi tunicam crucis instar habentem,
Ut tali signo domitos eliminet hostes.
Sustinet et laqueum pro zona ferre, nec ausus

45Ulciscenda Deo peccata f relinquere, factus
Ipse sui pro se, contra se, testis et actor
Et iudex, legum non impediente statuto,
Postquam discussit rationum pondera, sese
Damnat, et illecebrae passos incendia lumbos

50Tamquam latrones suspendit fune trinodi.
Discipulis iniuncta lesu reverenter adimplens,
Discipulus fit et ipse Iesu, populique magister
Adversus Furias certamen inire volentis;
Militiaeque novae, referente stipendia Christo,

55Quam miserabiliter spoliat devotio carnem,
Tam mirabiliter vestit sapientia mentem.
Neve Iesu frustra fuerit praecepta secutus,
Mente recompensans habitus quos corpore perdit;
Res licet ignotae sint illi fons Pegasaeus

60Parnassusque biceps, subito fit dogmate summus.
Nam causa meliore sacri succenditur igne
Pneumatis, unde solet prodire scientia. vocum i
A nullo doctus multos docet; alta loquentem
Et quasi trans hominem, noti, quem tempore nullo

65Discipulum videre, stupent audire magistrum,
Concluduntque: " Nihil didicit, nihil ergo docebit ".

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 460