Wednesday, April 08, 2009

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 ragged to go
Or show
A downcast look, and sour?

No; 'tis a fast, to dole
Thy sheaf or 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.

by Robert Herrick
English lyric poet
1591 - 1674

The word for Lent comes from Middle English and means the *lengthening of days* or Spring.

I was wondering.

1 comment:

  1. That's a beautiful poem and exhortation. I did not know the history/definition of the word Lent. I like that!