If at First You Don’t Succeed – Try Again!

bicycleThe poem, Perseverance or Try Again by William Hickson appeared as a song in his book "The Singing Master" in 1836. 

It’s believed he coined the proverb "If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again":

‘Tis a lesson you should heed–
Try, try, try again;
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try, try again.

The proverb seems to come directly from the poem "Try Again".  Here’s the poem with an mp3 recording.  Please note that some versions have "try again" as, "try, try again", or as "try, try, try again".

MP3 of Try Again

Try Again
By William Hickson,

‘Tis a lesson you should heed–
            Try again;
If at first you don’t succeed,
            Try again.
Then your courage should appear;
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear,
            Try again.

Once or twice though you should fail,
If you would at last prevail,
            Try again.
If we strive, ’tis no disgrace
Though we did not win the race–
What should you do in that case?
            Try again.

If you find your task is hard.
            Try again;
Time will bring you your reward,
            Try again;
All that other folk can do,
Why with patience should not you?
Only keep this rule in view,
            Try again.

Recited by Lila Pomerantz.

This article was posted on Monday, January 7th, 2013 at 4:35 pm and is filed under Canada, Countries & Cultures, England, English, Languages, MP3's of Poems, Parenting, Poems, Poems about Perserverence, Poetry, Proverbs, Recordings, Recordings of Poems, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

11 Responses to “If at First You Don’t Succeed – Try Again!”

  1. Nishat Says:

    Plz give a brief summary of this poem its urgent
    Thnx in advance…:)

  2. Mukarram hussain Says:

    plz give me parapharasing of last stanza

  3. Harshit Says:

    Adorable!! Beautiful and nice MP3.

  4. Salima Dharani Says:

    I learned this poem when I was in grade 4. Had to memorize this poem for my English poetry test. It has been almost 2 decades. It took me such a long time to find this poem. Now that I read, it inspires me. Thank you for sharing this poem. Will keep it in my binder.

  5. Best LED TV Says:

    This is an awesome poem thank you.

  6. Blair Howell Says:

    Though William Hickson is sometimes credited with originating this proverb in fact it goes back to a teaching manuel written by Thomas Haig Palmer (1782 – 1861). Palmer was a publisher and educational writer as well as an advocate for public education.

  7. Raashmi Says:

    I had this poem when I was in my 5th grade. This poem inspires me alot 😊

  8. David kotey Says:

    Thanks to my grade 4 teacher made us memorize this poem and as it stands today it keep motivating me always. I really like it

  9. Patience A A kumah Says:

    I also learnt this poem in my 4th grade, it was wonderful and today am also going to teach my grade 5 pupils…in my teaching Practice……i know they will enjoy it because it’s very inspirational

  10. chioma Says:

    I am so glad I finally found this poem. I learnt it in Jss1 many years ago in my Literature class. I memorized and also dramatized it. I have used it once in my teaching career though I could not recollect all the lyrics. Now that I have found it, it will continue to be a treasure because I know my pupils will love it. VERY INSPIRING!

  11. Dartagnan Says:

    Actually, the above commenter is incorrect. Palmer’s book was published in 1840. “The Singing Master” book by Hickson came out four years earlier–thus Hickson’s song predated Palmer.

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