Speak Gently

Speak gently! -- It is better farTo rule by love, than fear -- Speak gently -- let not harsh words mar The good we might do here!

Speak gently! -- Love doth whisper low The vows that true hearts bind; And gently Friendship's accents flow; Affection's voice is kind.

Speak gently to the little child! Its love be sure to gain; Teach it in accents soft and mild: -- It may not long remain.

Speak gently to the young, for they Will have enough to bear -- Pass through this life as best they may, 'Tis full of anxious care!

Speak gently to the aged one, Grieve not the care-worn heart; The sands of life are nearly run, Let such in peace depart!

Speak gently, kindly, to the poor; Let no harsh tone be heard; They have enough they must endure, Without an unkind word!

Speak gently to the erring -- know, They may have toiled in vain; Perchance unkindness made them so; Oh, win them back again!

Speak gently! -- He who gave his life To bend man's stubborn will, When elements were in fierce strife, Said to them, 'Peace, be still.'

Speak gently! -- 't is a little thing Dropped in the heart's deep well; The good, the joy, which it may bring, Eternity shall tell. David Bates