From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Try Again

History and Old Stuff...



Who hasn't heard the saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again?" But have you ever read the poem from which it is taken?

Try Again

'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 we do in that 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 folk can do,
Why, with patience, may not you?
Only keep this rule in view,
Try, try again;

by William Edward Hickson (1803-1870)

4 comments:

Sarabeth said...

You know, I have a book of Immortal Poems of the English Language, and that poem isn't in there. I think that is odd.

Genevieve said...

I saw the poem in an old Book of Knowledge (© 1941) that I picked up at a thrift store. In it, the refrain is, "Try again" (not "Try, try again.") So I typed it up that way, wondering all the while why I'd always heard the saying with two "try's."

Then, searching around on the internet, I found the poem quoted again and again with two "try's". So I put in the extra "try." I think the Book of Knowledge was just taking a bit of poetic license, so to speak. They were trying to update the poem for the 1940's or something.

This is the sort of arcane trivia that fascinates me, but bores normal people to tears. :D

tricia said...

Just wanted to say thanks for posting this poem in its entirety!
I was amazed at how difficult it was to find on the internet. All I could find were modern takes on it -- one after the other. I want to teach it to my four-year-old :)Thanks again!

Genevieve said...

You're very welcome, Tricia. Thanks for stopping by.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.