Last week Redeemer families and friends gathered for our spring semester recitation day. Ages three to adult recited the following selections, which we’ll excerpt here. Just imagine if the whole world resounded with such stirring ideas and poetry!

Imagine if you learned, at age seven, all 130 lines of “Paul Revere’s Ride,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, like one very dedicated RCS student did this year. What will that little boy achieve when he’s 12, 20, and 50? We can only wait and see. Or imagine if you had the opportunity to start overcoming stage fright at age five, like an RCS student’s little sister? Her courage was quite something.

What a privilege for the RCS community to be part of these kiddos’ life stories, and for us all to sustain our Christian and American heritage by hiding in our hearts, sharing, and attending to words that have thrilled millions for centuries. With no further ado, a selection from 11 of the recitations we heard last Wednesday.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

“Halfway Down,” by A.A. Milne

Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn’t any
other stair
quite like
it.
i’m not at the bottom,
i’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
where
I always
stop.

“How Doth the Little Crocodile,” by Lewis Carroll

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

The Apostle’s Creed

The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

“The Rhodora: On Being Asked, Whence Is the Flower?” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that, if eyes were made for seeing,
Then beauty is its own excuse for Being…

“The Flowers,” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

“Time to Rise,” by Robert Louis Stevenson

A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon my window sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
“Ain’t you ‘shamed, you sleepy-head!”

“Paul Revere’s Ride,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church…

“Grandfather’s Rhyme,” by Edward Eggleston

A grape-shot struck the captain,
He laid him down to die:
They say the smoke of powder
Made dark the sea and sky.

The sailors heard a whisper
Upon the captain’s lip:
The last command of Lawrence
Was, “Don’t give up the ship.”

“Sing My Tongue, The Glorious Battle,” by Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus

Faithful cross, thou sign of triumph,
now for us the noblest tree;
none in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit your peer may be;
symbol of the world’s redemption,
for the weight that hung on thee!

Thanks to our friends and family for helping the children prepare their poems and for coming to cheer them all on. We’re excited how recitation day grew this past year and look forward to many more.

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