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Speak Kindly
by [?]


SPEAK kindly, speak kindly! ye know not the power
Of a kind and gentle word,
As its tones in a sad and weary hour
By the trouble heart are heard.
Ye know not how often it falls to bless
The stranger in his weariness;
How many a blessing is round thee thrown
By the magic spell, of a soft, low tone.
Speak kindly, then, kindly; there’s nothing lost
By gentle words–to the heart and ear
Of the sad and lonely, they’re dear, how dear,
And they nothing cost.

Speak kindly to childhood. Oh, do not fling
A cloud o’er life’s troubled sky;
But cherish it well–a holy thing
Is the heart in its purity.
Enough of sorrow the cold world hath,
Enough of care in its later path,
And ye do a wrong if ye seek to throw
O’er the fresh young spirit a shade of woe.
Speak kindly, then, kindly; there’s nothing lost
By gentle words–to the heart and ear
Of joyous childhood, they’re dear, how dear–
And they nothing cost.

Speak gently to age–a weary way
Is the rough and toilsome road of life,
As one by one its joys decay,
And its hopes go out ‘mid its lengthened strife.
How often the word that is kindly spoken,
Will bind up the heart that is well nigh broken,
Then pass not the feeble and aged one
With a cold, and careless, and slighting tone;
But kindly, speak kindly; there’s nothing lost
By gentle words–to the heart and ear
Of the care-worn and weary, they’re dear, how dear–
And they nothing cost.

Speak kindly to those who are haughty and cold,
Ye know not the thoughts that are dwelling there;
Ye know not the feelings that struggle untold–
Oh, every heart hath its burden of care.
And the curl of the lip, and the scorn of the eye
Are often a bitter mockery,
When a bursting heart its grief would hide
From the eye of the world ‘neath a veil of pride.
Speak kindly, then, kindly; there’s nothing lost
By gentle words–to the heart and ear
Of the proud and haughty they’re often dear,
And they nothing cost.

Speak kindly ever–oh, cherish well
The light of a gentle tone;
It will fling round thy pathway a magic spell,
A charm that is all its own.
But see that it springs from a gentle heart,
That it need not the hollow aid of art;
Let it gush in its joyous purity,
From its home in the heart all glad and free.
Speak kindly, then, kindly; there’s nothing lost
By gentle words–to the heart and ear
Of all who hear them they’re dear, how dear–
And they nothing cost.