1 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.
2 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.
3 Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the careworn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let them in peace depart.
4 Speak gently to the erring ones;
They must have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
O, win them back again!
5 Speak gently, -- 'tis a little thing,
Dropped in the heart's deep well;
The good, the joy, that it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.