The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 461 

'Nothing has he ever learnt,a nothing will he ever teach":
So supposes the common saying,b and it holds in the natural run of things;
But let the common rule be broken, as when miracles occur, that saying
Is no longer true. Presumptious human often cloak the true meaning

55Of things.c Needs he a teacher from outside whom within the Spirit
Instructs? By his courtesy Francis receives the doctrines he imparts
With skill. The more graciously God instructs the heart, the more
Clear the message of the tongue. O secrets of God, hidden from all
Mortal beings! Here is one who earthly interests left for his sake,

60And now the obdurate converts, when from being obdurate turned
But a while away himself. Behold a distinguished master now,
While townsfolk and companions gaze, and wonder how their simpled friend,
Whom they had thought quite out of mind, true wisdom
meanwhile Has acquired!

65On entry to any house, his first greeting is:e
'Peace to this house." Lk 10:5
His peace goes out to all. It becomes his mode of greeting, to
Good and bad alike, to citizen and pilgrim he announces it,
And for the faithful, both men and women, it is his prayer.
A man of discretion in Assisi sees the great man's

70Footmarks worth imitating, and begins to shoulder
Poverty's ignoble burden.f He spurns the world with its
Fleeting opulence, subjugating himself lest he fall prey
To the enemy, and now a pauper, joins the man of poverty.
One that was host to Francis did the same, Bernard,

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Concluduntque: " Nihil didicit, nihil ergo docebit ".
Sic inferre locus praesumit ab usibus; usu
Autem naturae si procedatur, habebit
Tunc locus file locum; si vero fefellerit usus,

70Fallet et ille locus, ut.ubi miracula fiunt.
Hinc rerum causas hominum praesumptio reddit
Imperceptibiles: non exteriore magistro
Erudiendus eget, quem Spiritus erudti ji intus.
A quo Franciscus blande suscepta diserte

75Dogmata distribuit. Quod enim Deus edocet, in cor
Blandius ingreditur et ab ore serenius exit.
O secreta Dei mortalibus abdita cunctis!
Qui modo propter eum terrena reliquerat, ecce
Perversos convertit, ubi perversus et ipse

80Vix etiam sese converterat, estque magister
Egregius coram concivibus et coalumnis,
Inter quos idiota fuit, veramque sophiam
Acquisisse stupent, quem delirare putabant!
Ingrediens quamcumque domum, praemittit in ipso

85Introitu: " Pax huic domui ". Pax eius ad omnes.
Iste salutandi suus est modus, hanc et honestis
Et reprobis optat, hanc civibus et peregrinis
Nuntiat, hanc sexus utriusque fidelibus orat.
Discretus vir in Assisio, vestigia tanti

90Esse videns imitanda viri, commune ferendum
Paupertatis onus ducit, mundique fugaces
Aspernatur opes, ne conculcetur ab hoste
Sese conculcans, et egens comitatur egentem.
Francisci facit hospes idem, vir magnus in urbe

95Assisii divesque penu, Bernardus, et agris.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 461