09 March 2014

Poetry for Lent 1: To Keep a True Lent

During Lent this year, St Aidan’s, Clarkston will be holding a series of meditations on relevant poems after evening prayer. Our first poem is Robert Herrick’s ‘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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