Speak Gently

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.