Tag Archives: 17th century english poet

“To Keep a True Lent”

Dear Readers,

Following the Ancient Church Calendar,  we are entering the final days of The Lenten Season.  Palm Sunday, two days away, is the beginning of Holy Week.

Holy Week includes three days:  Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and The Great Easter Vigil [Saturday].  These three days comprise The Triduum and offer three Evening Worship Services:  we consider them to be one seamless observation.

For more information on Lent, Holy Week, and Worship Services between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday, see http://www.saint-peters.net.

It is not too late to observe Lent!  If the Lenten Season is new to you, as it is to me, I offer a poem for your reflection.

Coram Deo,

Margot

To Keep a True Lent

by Robert Herrick

 (baptized 24 August 1591 – buried 15 October 1674):  17th-century English poet

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.


Source:
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 240.

2 Comments

Filed under Lent