Song and Poem of the Month: August

Giotto - Ecstacy of St. Francis

Each month, I select a poem for the children and me to recite on a daily basis, and a song to sing to start our day. The goal is not necessarily to commit the poem and song to memory, although that is oftentimes what happens, since the children have such great memories.  Rather, I hope to instill the message of the poem and the song deep into their hearts.  As the month progresses, the lines, stanzas and melody sink deeper into our thoughts, and we start to ruminate on the meaning more.  Sometimes this leads to discussions, and sometimes it is just a shared experience that we have together.

Since we begin a new school year in August, it seems the perfect time to recite Try, Try Again by William Hickson.  Discouragement and frustration often strikes following the “back-to-school” excitement and anticipation of a new year, with new books, and new studies.  Such can be the anxieties of doing poorly or failing in any new endeavor we undertake, all through life.  So it’s helpful to have these words running through our minds to encourage and motivate us to persevere with patience.

We are studying the Middle Ages this year, and have many wonderful saints and their prayers to learn from and inspire us. St. Francis of Assisi, who lived in the early 13th Century, is one of them.  The song we are singing this month is called the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.  What better way to start the new school year than contemplating how we can, as a family, be instruments of God’s peace?

Try, Try Again

By William Hickson

 

‘Tis a lesson you should heed,

Try, try again;

If at first you don’t succeed,

Try, try again;

 

Then your courage should appear,

For if you will persevere,

You will conquer, never fear,

Try, try again.

 

Once or twice though you should fail,

Try, try again;

If you would at last prevail,

Try, try again;

 

If we strive, ‘tis no disgrace

Though we do not win the race;

What should you do in the case?

Try, try again.

 

If you find your task is hard,

Try, try again;

Time will bring you your reward,

Try, try again;

 

All that other folks can do,

Why, with patience, should not you?

Only keep this rule in view;

Try, try again.

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