Speak Gently (David Bates)

Speak Gently

by  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.


Talk with kindness and consideration, for it is more desirable to be adhered out of trust given freely than out of trust taken by threat or force. Do so and let no crude or jagged remark unmake any progress which could be made.

Talk with calmness and tenderness, for those sacred promises are said in sureness and sincerity, not achieved through volume, but through honesty and openheartedness. And just as companionship and fellowship are felt most distinctively through intimacy and understanding, so too are affection and affinity conveyed most effectively with serenity and tranquility.

Talk with patience and understanding, for those youngest of age will then surely embrace you in amity and cheer. Let their lessons be learned from voices steady and at peace, and their embrace, finite as it is, may last just a little longer.

Talk with levity and joyfulness, for those not yet of age shall have their share of woes in all the days to come. Is youth not the cache of joy unmarred by sorrow or smart? Their journey will be long no doubt and full of twists and turns, all they can, with careful steps, is bravely soldier on.

Talk with consciousness and civility, for those who time passed by have felt and weathered each blow and each wrong that life doled out at will. Leave not another scar or bruise to join the motley crowd, the tock ticks its final tocks, let midnight pass in peace. For all the years that touched their hearts and all the hearts they touched in turn, is peacefulness at last not the least that they deserve?

Talk with sympathy and friendliness, for those who hit bedrock bear unfairly bigger burdens than those with greater luck. Let their ears not hear any thorn filled barbs or eyes glance any a wicked tongue. Solitude and destitution, desolation and scarcity. Are throes and woes begot of these burdens not terrible torment enough? More than enough if not too much too start with, without slights said without thought.

Talk with tolerance and leniency, for those who strayed the path might have forged ahead trudging, doomed to fail this way and that. As likely as not, assuming or not, a shortage sentiment veered them off course, a little or lots of endearment like shots of motherly care may keep them adrift, but strengthened assurance of having their back like ferroconcrete or a weathered wolf pack could possibly, plausibly, for all one knows bring them back on track.

Talk with serenity and decency, for the one to give last full measure, in hopes to curb or change the source feeding both Man’s every rise and fall, when all great components of life moved in chaos, simply spoke, “let naught be in disarray but exist in harmony, let all rise to equilibrium and let there be tranquility.

Talk with gentleness and good heartedness, for these are but ways winds blow past tooth and lip and mouth muscle flip, verily the simplest trick, learned within the day long seconds between life’s clock first great ticks. Even so, as light as they, these voice box birthed sounds, could ever have possibly been, like the ripple effect, the residual of (sci-fi) temporal treks they alter, affect, transform and upset monumentally far beyond the reach of what any sense may hope to perceive. The good brought forth, the hopes surely seeded, the strength awakened, the goals succeeded, all inspired by airborne vibrations, these outcomes seen only gazing back passed the long haul at the picture comprised of more than all life in this ‘verse, so who is to say it’s a blessing or curse.

by Zaël J. Maipauw