Friday, 25 March 2011

True Lent

Robert Herrick wrote:

To Keep a True Lent

Is this a fast, to keep
The larder leane?
And cleane
From fat of veales and sheep?

Is it to quit the dish
Of flesh, yet still
To fill
The platter high with fish?

Is it to faste an houre,
Or ragg'd to go,
Or show
A downcast look, and sowre?

No: 'tis a fast, to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
And meat
Unto the hungry soule.

It is to fast from strife,
From old debate,
And hate;
To circumcise thy life.

To shew a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin;
And that's to keep thy Lent.

Robert Herrick - 17th century


Anonymous said...

The rules that govern abstinence are certainly bizarre
if I can sin with sausage meat,
and fast with caviar.

stephen clark said...

Indeed ...the truth being that fasting is not about rules at all but about the heart. Herrick's point...and also that of Jesus and the prophets