Oh , thou Alpha Beta row,
Fun and freedom's earliest foe,
Shall I e'er forget the primer,
Thumbed beside some Mrs. Trimmer,—
While mighty problem held me fast,
To know if Z was first or last?
And all Pandora had for me
Was emptied forth in A B C.

Teasing things of toil and trouble,
Fount of many a rolling bubble,
How I strived, with pouting pain,
To get thee quartered on my brain;
But when the giant feat was done,
How nobly wide the field I'd won!
Wit, reason, wisdom, all might be
Enjoyed throngh simple A B C.

Steps that lead to topmost height
Of wordly fame and human might,
Ye win the orator's renown,
The poet's bays, the scholar's gown:
Philosophers must bend and say
'Twas ye who oped their glorious way.
Sage, statesman, critic, where is he
Who's not obliged to A B C?

Ye really ought to be exempt
From slighting taunt and cool contempt;
But drinking deep from learning's cup,
We scorn the hand that filled it up.
Be courteous, pedants—stay and thank
Your servants of the Roman rank,
For F. R. S. and LL. D.
Can only spring from A B C.
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