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Poems to Memorize

Below is a list of poems selected as being worthy for memorization. Recommendations are made for 1st - 8th grade with a list of classic poems included at the end, but keep in mind that grade level suggestions are very loose. The key is to make a selection that the child or adult doing the memorizing takes an interest in. Also, don't forget to try out our memorization tool! When the "Memorize Poem" button is clicked, the user will have the opportunity to quiz themselves by typing the first letter of each word of the poem while being graded for accuracy. Make sure that the "Full Text" link is expanded before using the "Memorize Poem" feature in order to be quizzed on the entire poem.


    Poems for 1st Graders to Memorize

  1. A Wise Old Owl

    by Anonymous | Words: 34, Lines: 4

    A wise old owl lived in an oak
    The more he saw the less he spoke
    The less he spoke the more he heard.
    Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

  2. Speak the Truth

    by Anonymous | Words: 31, Lines: 6

    Speak the truth!
    Speak it boldly, never fear;
    Speak it so that all may hear;
    In the end it shall appear
    Truth is best in age and youth.
    Speak the truth.

  3. The Days of the Month

    by Anonymous | Words: 26, Lines: 6
    Beautiful Illustrated Calendar
    Antique Calendar

    Thirty days hath September,
    April, June, and November;
    February has twenty-eight alone.
    All the rest have thirty-one,
    Excepting leap-year—that's the time
    When February's days are twenty-nine.

  4. Try Again

    If at first you don't succeed,
    Try, try again;

    - Anonymous
    Try, Try Again
    by William E. Hickson | Words: 119, Lines: 14

     Full Text

    'T is 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.

    “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

    – Thomas Edison quote on failure


  5. One Step and Then Another

    by Anonymous | Words: 42, Lines: 8

    One step and then another,
    And the longest walk is ended;
    One stitch and then another,
    And the largest rent is mended.

    One brick upon another,
    And the highest wall is made;
    One flake upon another,
    And the deepest snow is laid.

  6. Little Things

    by Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney | Words: 65, Lines: 16

     Full Text

    Little drops of water,
    Little grains of sand,
    Make the mighty ocean
    And the pleasant land.

    Thus the little minutes,
    Humble though they be,
    Make the mighty ages
    Of eternity.

    So our little errors
    Lead the soul away
    From the path of virtue
    Far in sin to stray.

    Little deeds of kindness,
    Little words of love,
    Help to make earth happy
    Like the heaven above.

    “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.”

    – Ben Franklin quote on time


  7. Who Has Seen the Wind?

    by Christina Rossetti | Words: 42, Lines: 8

    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither I nor you;
    But when the leaves hang trembling,
    The wind is passing through.

    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither you nor I;
    But when the trees bow down their heads,
    The wind is passing by.

  8. The Swing

    by Robert Louis Stevenson | Words: 81, Lines: 12

    How do you like to go up in a swing,
    Up in the air so blue?
    Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
    Ever a child can do!

    Up in the air and over the wall,
    Till I can see so wide,
    Rivers and trees and cattle and all
    Over the countryside—

    Till I look down on the garden green,
    Down on the roof so brown—
    Up in the air I go flying again,
    Up in the air and down!

  9. Ten True Friends

    by Anonymous | Words: 93, Lines: 20

    Ten true friends you have,
    Who, five in a row,
    Upon each side of you
    Go where you go.

    Suppose you are sleepy,
    They help you to bed;
    Suppose you are hungry,
    They see that you are fed.

    They wake up your dolly
    And put on your clothes,
    And trundle her carriage
    Wherever she goes.

    And these ten tiny fellows,
    They serve you with ease;
    And they ask nothing from you,
    But work hard to please.

    Now, with ten willing servants
    So trusty and true,
    Pray who would be lazy
    Or idle—would you?

  10. Golden Keys

    Hearts, like doors, oft ope with ease
    To very, very little keys,
    And don't forget that two are these:
    "I thank you, sir," and "If you please."

    – Anonymous
    Golden Keys
    by Anonymous | Words: 148, Lines: 22

    A bunch of golden keys is mine
    To make each day with gladness shine.
    "Good morning" is the golden key
    That unlocks every door for me.

    When evening comes, "Good Night" I say,
    And close the door of each glad day.
    When at the table, "If You Please"
    I take from off my bunch of keys.

    When friends give anything to me
    I'll use the "Thank You" key,
    "Excuse me," "Beg your pardon, too,"
    When by mistake some harm I do,
    Or, if unkindly harm I've given,
    With "Forgive me," I shall be forgiven.

    On a golden ring these keys I'll bind,
    This is its motto—"Be ye kind."
    I'll often use each golden key,
    And then a child polite I'll be.

    Hearts, like doors, oft ope with ease
    To very, very little keys,
    And don't forget that two are these:
    "I thank you, sir," and "If you please."

  11. Poems for 2nd Graders to Memorize

  12. This Is God's Day

    by Annette Wynne | Words: 63, Lines: 8

    This is God's day that he lent to me
    That I may use for good or ill;
    Fair and fresh as a day can be
    This is God's day that he lent to me.
    He took a wave from eternity's sea—
    Fashioned a day all blemish-free;
    This is God's day that he lent to me.
    That I may use for good or ill.

  13. "Beautiful Faces"

    by Anonymous | Words: 37, Lines: 6

    Beautiful faces are they that wear
    The light of a pleasant spirit there;
    Beautiful hands are they that do
    Deeds that are noble good and true;
    Beautiful feet are they that go
    Swiftly to lighten another's woe.

  14. Kind Hearts

    Kind hearts are the gardens,
    Kind thoughts are the roots,
    Kind words are the blossoms,
    Kind deeds are the fruits;

    – Anonymous
    Kind Hearts
    by Anonymous | Words: 37, Lines: 8

    Kind hearts are the gardens,
    Kind thoughts are the roots,
    Kind words are the blossoms,
    Kind deeds are the fruits;
    Love is the sweet sunshine
    That warms into life,
    For only in darkness
    Grow hatred and strife.

  15. The Boy Who Never Told a Lie

    by Anonymous | Words: 101, Lines: 16

     Full Text

    Once there was a little boy,
    With curly hair and pleasant eye—
    A boy who always told the truth,
    And never, never told a lie.

    And when he trotted off to school,
    The children all about would cry,
    "There goes the curly-headed boy—
    The boy that never tells a lie."

    And everybody loved him so,
    Because he always told the truth,
    That every day, as he grew up,
    'Twas said, "There goes the honest youth."

    And when the people that stood near
    Would turn to ask the reason why,
    The answer would be always this:
    "Because he never tells a lie."

  16. All Things Bright and Beautiful

    by Cecil Frances Alexander | Words: 146, Lines: 28

    All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    The Lord God made them all.

    Each little flower that opens,
    Each little bird that sings,
    He made their glowing colors,
    He made their tiny wings.

    The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate,
    God made them high and lowly,
    And ordered their estate.

    The purple headed mountain,
    The river running by,
    The sunset and the morning,
    That brightens up the sky;−

    The cold wind in the winter,
    The pleasant summer sun,
    The ripe fruits in the garden,−
    He made them every one.

    The tall trees in the greenwood,
    The meadows where we play,
    The rushes by the water,
    We gather every day;−

    He gave us eyes to see them,
    And lips that we might tell
    How great is God Almighty,
    Who hath made all things well.

  17. My Shadow

    by Robert Louis Stevenson | Words: 187, Lines: 16

    I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
    And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
    He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
    And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

    The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
    Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
    For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
    And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

    He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
    And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
    He stays so close beside me, he's a coward, you can see;
    I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

    One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
    I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
    But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
    Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

  18. Poems for 3rd Graders to Memorize

  19. Saying and Doing

    It isn't the talk that will count, boys,
    But the doing that springs from the talk.
    To what will your walking amount, boys.
    With no goal at the end of your walk?

    – Amos R. Wells
    Saying and Doing
    by Amos R. Wells | Words: 125, Lines: 16

    It isn't the talk that will count, boys,
    But the doing that springs from the talk.
    To what will your walking amount, boys.
    With no goal at the end of your walk?

    What's the use of a ladder set up, boys,
    With the end resting only on air?
    What's the use of a nobly filled cup boys,
    If no one to drink it is there?

    What's the use of a capital plan, boys,
    That never is more than a scheme?
    He makes a poor, scatter brained man boys,
    That begins in his boyhood to dream.

    No; talk on and plan as you will, boys,
    But remember, if you would succeed.
    It isn't the talk that shows skill, boys,
    But the end of the talking,—the deed!

  20. If Love Were Mine

    by Annette Wynne | Words: 81, Lines: 15

    If love were mine, if love were mine,
    I know what I would do,
    I'd take it, spare it,
    Give it, share it,
    Lend it, spend it, too.

    If beauty I could claim for mine,
    To hold, to cherish, too,
    I'd strive to spread it,
    Pour it, shed it,
    Till it flowed the whole world through.

    But toil—just common toil—is mine;
    And so what I shall do
    Is strive to take it,
    Carve it, make it,
    Into love and beauty, too.

  21. A New Time-Table

    by Anonymous | Words: 63, Lines: 10

    Sixty seconds make a minute:
    How much good can I do in it?
    Sixty minutes make an hour,—
    All the good that’s in my power.
    Twenty hours and four, a day,—
    Time for work, and sleep, and play.
    Days, three hundred sixty-five
    Make a year for me to strive
    Eight good things for me to do,
    That I wise may grow and true.

  22. Psalm 23

    Psalm 23
    Psalm 23
    by Donn P. Crane
    by King David | Words: 124, Lines: 19

    1 The LORD is my shepherd;
    I shall not want.
    2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
    He leadeth me beside the still waters.
    3 He restoreth my soul:
    He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
    For his name's sake.

    4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
    Shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
    For thou art with me;
    Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

    5 Thou preparest a table before me
    In the presence of mine enemies:
    Thou anointest my head with oil;
    My cup runneth over.

    6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    All the days of my life:
    And I will dwell in the
    House of the LORD for ever.

  23. If I Were A Sunbeam

    by Alice Cary | Words: 108, Lines: 24

    "If I were a sunbeam,
    I know what I'd do;
    I would seek white lilies,
    Roaming woodlands through.
    I would steal among them,
    Softest light I'd shed,
    Until every lily
    Raised its drooping head.

    "If I were a sunbeam,
    I know where I'd go;
    Into lowly hovels,
    Dark with want and woe:
    Till sad hearts looked upward,
    I would shine and shine;
    Then they'd think of heaven,
    Their sweet home and mine."

    Are you not a sunbeam,
    Child, whose life is glad
    With an inner brightness
    Sunshine never had?
    Oh, as God has blessed you,
    Scatter light divine!
    For there is no sunbeam
    But must die or shine.

  24. The Eagle

    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson | Words: 39, Lines: 8

    He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
    Close to the sun in lonely lands,
    Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

    The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
    He watches from his mountain walls,
    And like a thunderbolt he falls.

  25. Trees

    by Joyce Kilmer | Words: 80, Lines: 12

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

  26. Poems for 4th Graders to Memorize

  27. The World's Greatest Need

    by C. Austin Miles | Words: 73, Lines: 8

    A little more kindness and a little less greed;
    A little more giving and a little less need;
    A little more smile and a little less frown;
    A little less kicking a man when he's down;
    A little more 'we' and a little less 'I';
    A little more laughs and a little less cry;
    A little more flowers on the pathway of life;
    And fewer on graves at the end of the strife.

  28. I'm nobody! Who are you?

    Fishing
    Fishing
    by Winslow Homer
    by Emily Dickinson | Words: 45, Lines: 8

    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there 's a pair of us — don't tell!
    They 'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

  29. Lincoln

    by Annette Wynne | Words: 78, Lines: 13

    A log cabin, rude and rough—
    This was house and home enough
    For one small boy; there in the chimney place
    With glowing face
    The eager young eyes learned to trace
    Staunch old tales of staunch old men;
    In the firelight there and then
    The soul of Lincoln grew—
    And no one knew!
    Only the great and bitter strife
    Of later days brought into life
    Great deeds that blossomed in the gloom
    Of that dim shadowy firelit room.

  30. The Faithful Dog

    The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner
    The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner
    by Edwin Landseer
    by Anonymous | Words: 33, Lines: 4

    With eye upraised his master's look to scan,
    The joy, the solace, and the aid of man;
    The rich man's guardian and the poor man's friend,
    The only creature faithful to the end.

  31. Little Things

    by Anonymous | Words: 63, Lines: 12

    A cup of water timely brought,
    An offered easy chair,
    A turning of the window-blind,
    That all may feel the air;
    An early flower bestowed unasked,
    A light and cautious tread,
    A voice to softest whispers hushed
    To spare an aching head—
    Oh, things like these, though little things,
    The purest love disclose,
    As fragrant atoms in the air
    Reveal the hidden rose.

  32. How doth the little busy bee

    by Isaac Watts | Words: 92, Lines: 16

    How doth the little busy bee
    Improve each shining hour,
    And gather honey all the day
    From every opening flower!

    How skilfully she builds her cell!
    How neat she spreads the wax!
    And labors hard to storeit well
    With the sweet food she makes.

    In works of labor or of skill,
    I would be busy too;
    For Satan finds some mischief still
    For idle hands to do.

    In books, or work, or healthful play,
    Let my first years be passed,
    That I may give for every day
    Some good account at last.

  33. Poems for 5th Graders to Memorize

  34. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

    by Francis William Bourdillon | Words: 46, Lines: 8

    The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;
    Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.

    The mind has a thousand eyes,
    And the heart but one:
    Yet the light of a whole life dies
    When love is done.

  35. A Lesson

    Build as doth the lowly coral,—
    Give yourselves. That shall endure.

    – Ruby Archer
    A Lesson
    by Ruby Archer | Words: 43, Lines: 8

    Would ye build that generations
    Yet to be may call you great?
    Would ye have your lives' creations
    O'er the ages tower elate?

    Hearken then a world-old moral,—
    Abnegation, meek and pure.
    Build as doth the lowly coral,—
    Give yourselves. That shall endure.

  36. He Prayeth Best Who Loveth Best

    He Prayeth Best
    He Prayeth Best
    by Margaret Tarrant
    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This text is an excerpt from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. | Words: 46, Lines: 8

    Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
    To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
    He prayeth well who loveth well
    Both man and bird and beast.

    He prayeth best who loveth best
    All things, both great and small:
    For the dear God who loveth us,
    He made and loveth all.

  37. The Scarecrow

    The Scarecrow
    The Scarecrow
    by Joaquim Vayreda
    by Annie Stone | Words: 75, Lines: 12

    Here is the scarecrow, see him stand
    Upon the newly planted land;
    A figure rugged and forlorn,
    A silent watcher of the corn.

    His dangling legs, his arms spread wide,
    A lone man of the countryside;
    Uncouth, the butt of pen and tongue,
    Unheralded, unsought, unsung

    To you, old scarecrow, then this lay
    To cheer you on your lonely way;
    Would that all men, their whole lives through,
    Served some good purpose same as you.

  38. A Recipe For a Day

    by Amos Russel Wells | Words: 78, Lines: 12

    Take a little dash of water cold,
    And a little leaven of prayer,
    And a little bit of morning gold
    Dissolved in the morning air.

    Add to your meal some merriment,
    And a thought for kith and kin;
    And then, as your prime ingredient,
    A plenty of work throw in.

    But spice it all with the essence of love
    And a little whiff of play;
    Let a wise old Book and a glance above
    Complete the well-made day.

  39. Afterglow

    I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.

    – Anonymous
    Afterglow
    by Anonymous | Words: 68, Lines: 6

    I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
    I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
    I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
    Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
    I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
    Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

  40. Poems for 6th Graders to Memorize

  41. Lend a Hand

    On the Stile
    On the Stile
    by Winslow Homer
    by Anonymous | Words: 134, Lines: 22

    Lend a hand to one another
    In the daily toil of life;
    When we meet a weaker brother,
    Let us help him in the strife.
    There is none so rich but may,
    In his turn, be forced to borrow;
    And the poor man's lot to-day
    May become our own to-morrow.

    Lend a hand to one another:
    When malicious tongues have thrown
    Dark suspicion on your brother,
    Be not prompt to cast a stone.
    There is none so good but may
    Run adrift in shame and sorrow.

    Lend a hand to one another:
    In the race for Honor's crown;
    Should it fall upon your brother,
    Let not envy tear it down.
    Lend a hand to all, we pray,
    In their sunshine or their sorrow;
    And the prize they've won today
    May become our own to-morrow.

  42. The Carpenter's Shop

    The Village Carpenter
    The Village Carpenter
    by Edward Henry Potthast
    by Amos Russel Wells | Words: 106, Lines: 16

    I am a tool in the Carpenter's hand,
    And obedience only is mine.
    Never a whit may I understand
    The Carpenter's vast design.

    Mine to stay if He bids me stay,
    And go if He bids me go;
    Mine to plod in the same dull way
    Steadily to and fro.

    Mine to present a handle firm,
    And an edge that is sharp and true;
    Mine to achieve in my destined term,
    Just what He would have me do.

    The Nazareth shop in the centuries dead
    Has sunk from the sight of men.
    O joy if my life by the Carpenter led,
    May restore that shop again!

  43. Amazing Grace

    by John Newton | Words: 146, Lines: 24

    Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found,
    Was blind, but now I see.

    'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear,
    The hour I first believed!

    Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

    The Lord has promised good to me,
    His word my hope secures;
    He will my shield and portion be,
    As long as life endures.

    Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail
    And mortal life shall cease;
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

    The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.

  44. My Friend

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | Words: 128, Lines: 14

    When first I looked upon the face of Pain
    I shrank repelled, as one shrinks from a foe
    Who stands with dagger poised, as for a blow.
    I was in search of Pleasure and of Gain;
    I turned aside to let him pass: in vain;
    He looked straight in my eyes and would not go.
    "Shake hands," he said, "our paths are one, and so
    We must be comrades on the way, 'tis plain."

    I felt the firm clasp of his hand on mine;
    Through all my veins it sent a strengthening glow.
    I straightway linked my arm in his, and lo!
    He led me forth to joys almost divine;
    With God's great truths enriched me in the end,
    And now I hold him as my dearest friend.

  45. Contentment

    by Edward Dyer | Words: 165, Lines: 24

    My mind to me a kingdom is;
    Such perfect joy therein I find
    As far excels all earthly bliss
    That God or Nature hath assigned;
    Though much I want that most would have,
    Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

    Content I live; this is my stay,—
    I seek no more than may suffice.
    I press to bear no haughty sway;
    Look, what I lack my mind supplies.
    Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
    Content with that my mind doth bring.

    I laugh not at another's loss,
    I grudge not at another's gain;
    No worldly wave my mind can toss;
    I brook that is another's bane.
    I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend;
    I loathe not life, nor dread mine end.

    My wealth is health and perfect ease;
    My conscience clear my chief defense;
    I never seek by bribes to please
    Nor by desert to give offense.
    Thus do I live, thus will I die;
    Would all did so as well as I!

  46. All Creatures of Our God and King

    by Francis of Assisi | Words: 164, Lines: 28

    All creatures of our God and King
    Lift up your voice and with us sing,
    Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Thou burning sun with golden beam,
    Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
    Refrain:
    O praise Him! O praise Him!
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

    Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
    Ye clouds that sail in heav'n along,
    O praise Him! Alleluia!
    Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
    Ye lights of evening, find a voice! Refrain

    Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
    Make music for thy Lord to hear,
    O praise Him! Alleluia!
    Thou fire so masterful and bright,
    That givest man both warmth and light. Refrain

    And all ye men of tender heart,
    Forgiving others, take your part,
    O sing ye! Alleluia!
    Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
    Praise God and on Him cast your care! Refrain

    Let all things their Creator bless,
    And worship Him in humbleness,
    O praise Him! Alleluia!
    Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
    And praise the Spirit, Three in One! Refrain

  47. The Two Kinds of People

    No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
    Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

    – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
    The Two Kinds of People
    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | Words: 190, Lines: 20

    There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
    Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

    Not the sinner and saint, for it's well understood,
    The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

    Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
    You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

    Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
    Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.

    Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
    Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

    No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
    Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

    Wherever you go, you will find the earth's masses
    Are always divided in just these two classes.

    And, oddly enough, you will find, too, I ween,
    There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.

    In which class are you? Are you easing the load
    Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

    Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
    Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

  48. Poems for 7th Graders to Memorize

  49. If I can stop one heart from breaking

    The First Grief
    The First Grief
    by Daniel Ridgway Knight
    by Emily Dickinson | Words: 41, Lines: 7

    If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.

  50. No Man is an Island

    Gallows Island
    Gallows Island
    by Winslow Homer
    by John Donne | Words: 81, Lines: 13

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend's
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man's death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.

    7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

    – Romans 14:7
    KJV
  51. Somebody Said it Couldn't Be Done

    by Edgar Albert Guest | Words: 207, Lines: 24

    Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
    But he with a chuckle replied
    That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
    So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

    Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one ever has done it;”
    But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
    With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

    There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure,
    There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
    But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
    Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
    That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

  52. A Time to Talk

    Discussing the Harvest
    Discussing the Harvest
    by David Farquharson
    by Robert Frost | Words: 76, Lines: 10

    When a friend calls to me from the road
    And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
    I don’t stand still and look around
    On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
    And shout from where I am, What is it?
    No, not as there is a time to talk.
    I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
    Blade-end up and five feet tall,
    And plod: I go up to the stone wall
    For a friendly visit.

  53. The Village Blacksmith

    Toiling,—rejoicing,—sorrowing,
    Onward through life he goes;
    Each morning sees some task begin,
    Each evening sees it close
    Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night's repose.

    – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    The Village Blacksmith
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Words: 284, Lines: 48

    Under a spreading chestnut-tree
    The village smithy stands;
    The smith, a mighty man is he,
    With large and sinewy hands;
    And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands.

    His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
    His face is like the tan;
    His brow is wet with honest sweat,
    He earns whate'er he can,
    And looks the whole world in the face,
    For he owes not any man.

    Week in, week out, from morn till night,
    You can hear his bellows blow;
    You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
    With measured beat and slow,
    Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
    When the evening sun is low.

    And children coming home from school
    Look in at the open door;
    They love to see the flaming forge,
    And hear the bellows roar,
    And catch the burning sparks that fly
    Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

    He goes on Sunday to the church,
    And sits among his boys;
    He hears the parson pray and preach,
    He hears his daughter's voice,
    Singing in the village choir,
    And it makes his heart rejoice.

    It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
    Singing in Paradise!
    He needs must think of her once more,
    How in the grave she lies;
    And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
    A tear out of his eyes.

    Toiling,—rejoicing,—sorrowing,
    Onward through life he goes;
    Each morning sees some task begin,
    Each evening sees it close
    Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night's repose.

    Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
    For the lesson thou hast taught!
    Thus at the flaming forge of life
    Our fortunes must be wrought;
    Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
    Each burning deed and thought.

  54. The Arrow and the Song

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Words: 88, Lines: 12

    I shot an arrow into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
    Could not follow it in its flight.

    I breathed a song into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For who has sight so keen and strong,
    That it can follow the flight of song?

    Long, long afterward, in an oak
    I found the arrow, still unbroke;
    And the song, from beginning to end,
    I found again in the heart of a friend.

  55. Poems for 8th Graders to Memorize

  56. Remember

    by Christina Georgina Rossetti | Words: 111, Lines: 14

    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.

  57. Crossing the Bar

    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson | Words: 102, Lines: 16

    Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
    And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea,

    But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
    When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark;

    For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crost the bar.

  58. In Flanders Fields

    Illustration for In Flanders Fields
    by Ernest Clegg
    Poem about soldiers who lost their lives in World War I by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on May 3, 1915 | Words: 97, Lines: 16

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead.
    Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  59. Love is like a rose

    by Christina Georgina Rossetti | Words: 56, Lines: 6

    Hope is like a harebell trembling from its birth,
    Love is like a rose the joy of all the earth;
    Faith is like a lily lifted high and white,
    Love is like a lovely rose the world’s delight;
    Harebells and sweet lilies show a thornless growth,
    But the rose with all its thorns excels them both.


    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    – 1 Corinthians 13:13
    ESV
  60. The Pines

    Old Settlers
    Old Settlers
    by Winslow Homer
    by Ruby Archer | Words: 106, Lines: 20

    What ethics in the pine-grove lurk
    For keen of ear to sound—
    A myriad kindly ministers,
    Humility profound.

    The trees maintain a brotherhood,
    The earth exhales a prayer,
    Each bough a precious ointment pours
    In balm upon the air.

    The ferns a tender refuge grant
    To vagrant, rolling cone;
    The forest monarch woos the bird
    To share his royal throne.

    The willing branches move aside
    To leave the sunlight room;
    And in the whole broad, lovely wood,
    No envy makes a gloom.

    Come out and learn of pine-grove lore
    How sweet it is to give,
    What perfect rule for happiness,—
    To live and help to live.

  61. A Poison Tree

    Trees in the Moonlight
    Trees in the Moonlight
    by Carl Julius von Leypold
    by William Blake | Words: 100, Lines: 16

    I was angry with my friend;
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe:
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.

    And I waterd it in fears,
    Night & morning with my tears:
    And I sunned it with smiles,
    And with soft deceitful wiles.

    And it grew both day and night.
    Till it bore an apple bright.
    And my foe beheld it shine,
    And he knew that it was mine.

    And into my garden stole,
    When the night had veild the pole;
    In the morning glad I see;
    My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

    Unforgiveness is the poison you drink hoping others will die.

    – Original Source Unknown
  62. Nobility

    True worth is in being, not seeming,—

    - Alice Cary
    Nobility
    by Alice Cary | Words: 274, Lines: 40

    True worth is in being, not seeming,—
    In doing, each day that goes by,
    Some little good—not in dreaming
    Of great things to do by and by.
    For whatever men say in their blindness,
    And spite of the fancies of youth,
    There’s nothing so kingly as kindness,
    And nothing so royal as truth.

    We get back our meet as we measure—
    We cannot do wrong and feel right,
    Nor can we give pain and gain pleasure,
    For justice avenges each slight.
    The air for the wing of the sparrow,
    The bush for the robin and wren,
    But always the path that is narrow
    And straight, for the children of men.

    ‘Tis not in the pages of story
    The heart of its ills to begulie,
    Though he who makes courtship to glory
    Gives all that he hath for her smile.
    For when from her heights he has won her,
    Alas it is only to prove
    That nothing’s so sacred as honor,
    And nothing so loyal as love!

    We cannot make bargains for blisses,
    Nor catch them like fishes in nets;
    And sometimes the thing our life misses
    Helps more than the thing which it gets.
    For good lieth not in pursuing,
    Nor gaining of great nor of small,
    But just in the doing, and doing
    As we would be done by, is all.

    Through envy, through malice, through hating,
    Against the world, early and late,
    No jot of our courage abating—
    Our part is to work and wait.
    And slight is the sting of his trouble
    Whose winnings are less than his worth;
    For he who is honest and noble,
    Whatever his fortunes or birth.

  63. Life Sculpture

    by George Washington Doane | Words: 105, Lines: 16

    Chisel in hand stood a sculptor boy
    With his marble block before him,
    And his eyes lit up with a smile of joy,
    As an angel-dream passed o’er him.

    He carved the dream on that shapeless stone,
    With many a sharp incision;
    With heaven’s own flight the sculpture shone,—
    He’d caught that angel-vision.

    Children of life are we, as we stand
    With our lives uncarved before us,
    Waiting the hour when, at God’s command,
    Our life-dream shall pass o’er us.

    If we carve it then on the yielding stone,
    With many a sharp incision,
    Its heavenly beauty shall be our own,—
    Our lives, that angel-vision.

    Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

    – Isaiah 64:8
    The Bible, NIV
  64. Be Thou My Vision

    by Dallán Forgaill | Words: 164, Lines: 20

    Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
    Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
    Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
    Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

    Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word;
    I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
    Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
    Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

    Be Thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;
    Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight;
    Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower:
    Raise Thou me heav’nward, O power of my power.

    Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
    Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
    Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
    High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.

    High King of Heaven, my victory won,
    May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
    Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
    Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

  65. Classic Poems to Memorize

  66. Loss and Gain

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Words: 77, Lines: 12

    When I compare
    What I have lost with what I have gained,
    What I have missed with what attained,
    Little room do I find for pride.

    I am aware
    How many days have been idly spent;
    How like an arrow the good intent
    Has fallen short or been turned aside.

    But who shall dare
    To measure loss and gain in this wise?
    Defeat may be victory in disguise;
    The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

  67. The Road Not Taken

    by Robert Frost | Words: 144, Lines: 20

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  68. A Psalm of Life

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.

    – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    A Psalm of Life
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Words: 222, Lines: 37

    What The Heart of The Young Man Said to the Psalmist.

    Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
    Find us farther than to-day.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world’s broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act,— act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o’erhead!

    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.

  69. Four Things

    by Henry van Dyke | Words: 38, Lines: 6

    Four things a man must learn to do
    If he would make his record true:
    To think without confusion clearly;
    To love his fellow-men sincerely;
    To act from honest motives purely;
    To trust in God and Heaven securely.

  70. Conscience and Remorse

    I cried: "Come back, my conscience;
    I long to see thy face."
    But conscience cried: "I cannot;
    Remorse sits in my place."

    – Paul Laurence Dunbar
    Conscience and Remorse
    by Paul Laurence Dunbar | Words: 67, Lines: 12

    "Good-bye," I said to my conscience —
    "Good-bye for aye and aye,"
    And I put her hands off harshly,
    And turned my face away;
    And conscience smitten sorely
    Returned not from that day.

    But a time came when my spirit
    Grew weary of its pace;
    And I cried: "Come back, my conscience;
    I long to see thy face."
    But conscience cried: "I cannot;
    Remorse sits in my place."

  71. The Happiest Heart

    by John Vance Cheney | Words: 75, Lines: 12

    Who drives the horses of the sun
    Shall lord it but a day;
    Better the lowly deed were done,
    And kept the humble way.

    The rust will find the sword of fame,
    The dust will hide the crown;
    Ay, none shall nail so high his name
    Time will not tear it down.

    The happiest heart that ever beat
    Was in some quiet breast
    That found the common daylight sweet,
    And left to Heaven the rest.

  72. If—

    by Rudyard Kipling | Words: 283, Lines: 32

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

  73. Loving and Forgiving

    by Charles Swain | Words: 111, Lines: 24

    Oh, loving and forgiving—
    Ye angel-words of earth,
    Years were not worth the living
    If ye too had not birth!
    Oh, loving and forbearing—
    How sweet your mission here;
    The grief that ye are sharing
    Hath blessings in its tear.

    Oh, stern and unforgiving
    Ye evil words of life,
    That mock the means of living
    With never-ending strife.
    Oh, harsh and unrepenting—
    How would ye meet the grave,
    If Heaven, as unrelenting,
    Forbore not, nor forgave!

    Oh, loving and forgiving—
    Sweet sisters of the soul,
    In whose celestial living
    The passions find control!
    Still breathe your influence o'er us
    Whene'er by passion crost.
    And, angel-like, restore us
    The paradise we lost.

  74. Nothing Gold Can Stay

    by Robert Frost | Words: 40, Lines: 8

    Nature's first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold,

    Her early leaf's a flower;
    But only so an hour.

    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,

    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.

  75. My Wage

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse | Words: 71, Lines: 12

    I bargained with Life for a penny,
    And Life would pay no more,
    However I begged at evening
    When I counted my scanty store;

    For Life is a just employer,
    He gives you what you ask,
    But once you have set the wages,
    Why, you must bear the task.

    I worked for a menial's hire,
    Only to learn, dismayed,
    That any wage I had asked of Life,
    Life would have paid.

  76. Concord Hymn

    The Shot Heard 'Round the World
    The Shot Heard 'Round the World
    by Domenick D'Andrea
    for the National Guard Heritage Series
    by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837 | Words: 109, Lines: 16

     Full Text

    By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
    Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
    Here once the embattled farmers stood
    And fired the shot heard round the world.

    The foe long since in silence slept;
    Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
    And Time the ruined bridge has swept
    Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

    On this green bank, by this soft stream,
    We set today a votive stone;
    That memory may their deed redeem,
    When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

    Spirit, that made those heroes dare
    To die, and leave their children free,
    Bid Time and Nature gently spare
    The shaft we raise to them and thee.

  77. A Vagabond Song

    by Bliss Carman | Words: 97, Lines: 12

    There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood —
    Touch of manner, hint of mood;
    And my heart is like a rhyme,
    With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time....

    The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
    Of bugles going by.
    And my lonely spirit thrills
    To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

    There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
    We must rise and follow her,
    When from every hill of flame
    She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

  78. The Charge of the Light Brigade

    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson | Words: 260, Lines: 55

    Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    “Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns!” he said.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismayed?
    Not though the soldier knew
    Someone had blundered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volleyed and thundered;
    Stormed at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of hell
    Rode the six hundred.

    Flashed all their sabres bare,
    Flashed as they turned in air
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
    All the world wondered.
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right through the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reeled from the sabre stroke
    Shattered and sundered.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volleyed and thundered;
    Stormed at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell.
    They that had fought so well
    Came through the jaws of Death,
    Back from the mouth of hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wondered.
    Honour the charge they made!
    Honour the Light Brigade,
    Noble six hundred!

  79. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

    by Robert Frost | Words: 108, Lines: 16

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  80. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

    by William Wordsworth | Words: 150, Lines: 24

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed—gazed—but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

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