To Keep a True Lent

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

I admit I can’t compete with my friend and fellow blogger/priest Scott Gunn’s offering of daily Lenten hymns on Seven Whole Days. And I’m not even going to try. But I will provide you with this classic Lenten poem by 17th century Anglican priest and poet Robert Herrick. Enjoy:

 

 

To Keep a True Lent

Is this a Fast, to keep
The larder lean?
And clean
From fat of veals and sheep?
Is it to quit the dish
Of flesh, yet still
To fill
The platter high with fish?
Is it to fast an hour,
Or ragg’d to go,
Or show
A down-cast look and sour?
No: ’tis a Fast to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
And meat
Unto the hungry soul,
It is to fast from strife
And old debate,
And hate;
To circumcise thy life.
To show a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin;
And that’s to keep thy Lent.



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