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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
To Keep a True Lent
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
IS this a fast—to keep
      The larder lean,
          And clean
From fat of veals and sheep?
 
Is it to quit the dish        5
      Of flesh, yet still
          To fill
The platter high with fish?
 
Is it to fast an hour,
      Or ragged to go,        10
          Or show
A downcast look and sour?
 
No! ’Tis a fast to dole
      Thy sheaf of wheat,
          And meat,        15
Unto the hungry soul.
 
It is to fast from strife,
      From old debate
          And hate;
To circumcise thy life.        20
 
To show a heart grief-rent;
      To starve thy sin,
          Not bin,—
And that’s to keep thy Lent.
 
 
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