April 28, 2014

Poem: To Keep a True Lent

12th Century Icon - Courtesy of Wikipedia

To Keep a True Lent is a poem by the Anglican Vicar and poet, Robert Herrick (1591-1674). It is included in the Religious Poetry Appendix for Lent and Easter of the Divine Office (1974).

Reading and commentary by Fr. James Kubicki.

TO KEEP A TRUE LENT. by Robert Herrick (Public Domain)

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 downcast 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,
From 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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