Speak gently! – It is better far To 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, ‘T is 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! – ’tis a little thing Dropped in the heart’s deep well; The good, the joy, which it may bring, Eternity shall tell.