A holy fast to keep,
And now within the temple walls
Both priest and people meet.
But vain all outward sign of grief,
And vain the form of prayer,
Unless the heart implore relief
And penitence be there.
We smite the breast, we weep in pain,
In vain in ashes mourn,
Unless with penitential pain
The smitten soul be torn.
In sorrow true, then, let us pray-
To our offended God
From us to turn His wrath away,
And stay the uplifted rod.
O God ! our Judge and Father, deign
To spare the bruised reed ;
We pray for time to turn again,
For grace to turn indeed.
Blest Three in One, to thee we bow;
Vouchsafe us in Thy love
To gather from these fasts below
Immortal fruit above. Amen.
- Hymns and Songs for Catholic Children -