Heigh ho! well, the season's over!
    Once again we've come to Lent!
Programme's changed from balls and parties---
    Now we're ordered to repent.
Forty days of self-denial!
    Tell you what, I think it pays---
Know't'l freshen my complexion
    Going slow for forty days.

No more savoury French suppers---
    Such as Madame R--- can give.
Well, I need a little thinning---
    Just a trifle---sure's you live.
Sometimes been afraid my plumpness
    Might grow into downright fat.
Rector urges need of fasting---
    Think there's lot of truth in that.

We must meditate, he tells us,
    On our several acts of sin,
And repent them. Let me see now---
    Whereabouts shall I begin!
Flirting---yes, they say 'tis wicked;
    Well, I'm awful penitent.
(Wonder if my handsome major
    Goes to early Mass through Lent?)

Love of dress! I'm guilty there too---
    Guess it's my besetting sin.
Still I'm somewhat like the lilies,
    For I neither toil nor spin.
Forty days I'll wear my plainest---
    Could repentance be more true?
What a saving on my dresses!
    They'll make over just like new.

Pride, and worldliness and all that,
    Rector bade us pray about
Every day through Lenten season,
    And I mean to be devout!
Papa always talks retrenchment---
    Lent is just the very thing.
Hope he'll get enough in pocket
    So we'll move up town next spring.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

Back to Poem Index