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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Canticle of the Sun
By Saint Francis of Assisi (1182–1226)
 
        
Translation of Maurice Francis Egan
  
  [The title is ‘Incipiunt Laudes Creaturarum quas fecit Franciscus ad Laudem et Honorem Dei cum esset Infirmus ad Sanctum Damianum.’ It is sometimes called the ‘Canticle of the Creatures.’ It is in Italian, and it opens with these words:—“Altissimi, omnipotente, bon Signore, tue so le laude la gloria e l’onore et omne benedictione.”]

O MOST HIGH, Almighty, good Lord God, to thee belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing.  1
  Praised be my Lord God, with all his creatures, and specially our brother the sun, who brings us the day and who brings us the light; fair is he, and he shines with a very great splendor. O Lord, he signifies to us thee!  2
  Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, the which he has set clear and lovely in heaven.  3
  Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind, and for air and clouds, calms and all weather, by which thou upholdest life in all creatures.  4
  Praised be my Lord for our sister water, who is very serviceable to us, and humble and precious and clean.  5
  Praised be my Lord for our brother fire, through whom thou givest us light in the darkness; and he is bright and pleasant, and very mighty and strong.  6
  Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth, the which doth sustain us and keep us, and bringest forth divers fruits, and flowers of many colors, and grass.  7
  Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for love’s sake, and who endure weakness and tribulation; blessed are they who peacefully shall endure, for thou, O Most High, wilt give them a crown.  8
  Praised be my Lord for our sister the death of the body, from which no man escapeth. Woe to him who dieth in mortal sin. Blessed are those who die in thy most holy will, for the second death shall have no power to do them harm. Praise ye and bless the Lord, and give thanks to him and serve him with great humility.  9
 
  [The last stanza, in praise of death, was added to the poem on the day St. Francis left the world, October 4th, 1225.]  10
 
 
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