By David Bates
Speak gently; it is better far,
To rule by love than fear;
Speak gently; let no harsh word mar
The good we may do here.
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 careworn heart
Whose sands of life are nearly run;
Let such in peace depart.
Speak gently to the erring; know
They must have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
Oh, win them back again!
Speak gently; 'tis a little thing
Dropped in the heart's deep well;
The good, the joy, that it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.