“Abate, abash, abet, abstemious”:
So started out the list of words to learn
In seventh grade (First Form), and did we fuss
Thinking that Sir (Jacques Harlow) was too stern.
It is amazing, though, how attitudes evolve,
So by year’s end, we’d somehow got on board
With this strict regimen and learned resolve,
Enlarging, week by week, our vast word hoard.
Yet more than that, we grew more curious
About new words we met in what we read
As our small binders grew compendious
And our intelligence was richly fed.
Dear Sir, now long departed from this earth,
I thank you for my word hoard’s ample girth.