Speak gently; it is better far
To rule by love than fear;
Speak gently; let no harsh word mar
The good that we do here.
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,
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.