Morken, who was then King of
Cumbria, seems to have derived no benefit from the spiritual teaching of
the holy man, as it is related that the brotherhood of whom St. Mungo was
head, being scarce of corn, application was made by the saint to the king
for a supply. But he impiously and mockingly replied to the holy man, in
the language of Scripture: "Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He will
sustain thee, since nothing is lacking to them that fear God, as
thou hast been accustomed to teach others."
After further talk in a like strain
of irony, and a suitable reply by the holy man, the king said: "If,
trusting in thy God, and without human assistance, thou shalt be able to
transfer to thine own mansion all the corn which. thou seest contained in
the barns, I willingly consent; and as to the rest I will devoutly comply
with thy demands."
On hearing this, the saint, "with
hands and eyes lifted up to heaven, poured out a prayer with tears to the
Lord. And lo! in the same hour the river Clyde, rushing from below, began
suddenly to swell and overflow its banks, and carried along with it the
entire barns of the king, with the corn
in them, up to the very place, Molendinar by name, where the
saint was accustomed to reside."
Morken, though literally taken at
his word, was so furious and mad with rage that he lifted his kingly foot
and made the saint measure his length on the ground. But retribution was
at hand, as the king was immediately after attacked with gout in the foot
he had used in such a rash and undignified manner against the person of
the saint, and from this disease, in a very acute form, he died in a short
As the relatives of the deceased
king denounced the saint as a sorcerer, and sought to lay violent hands on
him, he retired for some time into Wales.