A Poem for Lent

For our prayers during Lent, here is part of a poem about Lent by the priest-poet George Herbert. In the second verse, Herbert invites us to walk along Christ’s way: perhaps God will turn back from far ahead and take us by the hand! 

It’s true, we cannot reach Christ’s fortieth day;
Yet to go part of that religious way,
Is better than to rest:
We cannot reach our Saviour’s purity;
Yet we are bid, "Be holy even as he,"
In both let’s do our best.  

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone,
Is much more sure to meet with him, than one
That travelleth by-ways:
Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
May turn and take me by the hand, and more:
May strengthen my decays.  

Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin and taking such repast,
As may our faults control:
That every man may revel at his door,
Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor,
And among those his soul.   

George Herbert