Robert Herrick, English, 1591 – 1674

Is this a Fast, to keep

The Larder lean?

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 fast an hour,

Or rag’d to go,

Or show

A down-cast 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 sterve thy sin,

Not bin;

And that’s to keep thy Lent.

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