Abash, abate, abet, abstemious—
And so began our first-form list of words
That Mr. Harlow made (despite our fuss)
Us memorize to turn us into nerds—
Or so we felt (though that word hadn’t yet
Appeared in lexicons), and every week
Our Monday quiz encompassed the whole set:
Abash, abate, abet right at the peak.
No wonder I remember, decades on
(Just like amo, amas, amat, amamus, too),
What was imprinted well and hasn’t gone
The way so many other memories do.
Abash, abate, abet, abstemious!
We cheer you, Mr. H, the lot of us.