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Speak Gently
David Bates


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! – 't is a little thing
Dropped in the heart's deep well;
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell. 

This poem is in the public domain.



David Bates (1809 – 1870) was born in Ohio, educated in New York  and, ultimately, settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he enjoyed a successful career as a mercantile broker. Though respected in the literary community, David published only one collection of poetry.




Post New Comment:
Old-fashioned advice, worthwile. I'd like it if poem were about half the length it is now, but that's what's old-fashioned about it.
Posted 07/19/2016 10:42 AM
An ode to embrace! Very timely for these times. Thanks, David & Jayne, too.
Posted 07/19/2016 07:32 AM
Speak gently! Well said. Thank you
Posted 07/19/2016 02:29 AM

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