David Bates

(6 March 1809 – 25 January 1870 / Indian Hill / Ohio)

Speak Gently

Poem 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.

Comments about Speak Gently by David Bates

  • John-Preston (6/15/2020 5:06:00 PM)

    I learn this poem in school but lose the words. I thank you for publishing it. I search and I search but could not find it. I was 12 years old when I learn it now I am 70 years thank you for posting it.(Report)Reply

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  • Umang (7/11/2018 12:55:00 AM)

    Actually I can’t understand that why does the poet says that affection voice is kind(Report)Reply

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  • F hun nvc (5/2/2018 10:41:00 AM)

    Very bad(Report)Reply

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  • Vanshika (12/15/2017 9:32:00 AM)

    No meanings available(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Frank Levinson (1/18/2017 8:38:00 AM)

    This poem was originally penned by G W Langford in 1909 and has been a part of the Christian Science Hymnal for nearly 100 years. http: //www.hymnary.org/hymn/CSH1909/60

    It was beautifully covered by Larry Groce on his album Peace, Joy and Power in 1970.

    Frank Levinson(Report)Reply

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  • val Rogersval Rogers (4/4/2015 11:25:00 PM)

    I am so amazed at this magically written poem. I'll give an 8 rating.(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (4/4/2015 9:59:00 PM)

    From young to old, from poor to rich, gentle and kind words have their magic cast on all of them.We can change the world through our gentle way.Yes, I agree that this poem deserve much higher rating.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Tushar RayTushar Ray (4/4/2015 8:25:00 PM)

    This is a superb poem written so elegantly. Each stanza gave the message on the how to lead our life for peace and happiness in our environment. I congratulate the poet from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for sharing!
    I fully agree with Kim Barney, it deserves more than 10.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
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  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (4/4/2015 2:51:00 PM)

    Excellent poem with an excellent message. Deserves a much higher rating than the 6.5 out of ten given by the 51 voters so far!(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Leloudia Migdali (4/4/2015 1:48:00 PM)

    Lovely poem! Everyone should read it once every day!(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
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  • Panmelys PanmelysPanmelys Panmelys (4/4/2015 10:48:00 AM)

    Beautiful, it is indeed a poem to be read daily, by all. May I add a last few lines of A Credo to join hands with yours.

    Teach your soul
    Loving Kindness to all
    As credo! Panmelys 2014 Peace be with you for sharing such glowing words as an example to cherish. Kindly.(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
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  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (4/4/2015 5:38:00 AM)

    One of the most enduring messages for man. Let all religious discourse begin with this magnificent poem. I quote a few lines: Speak gently - let not harsh words mar / The good we might do here! / Let no harsh tone be heard;(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Madathil Rajendran NairMadathil Rajendran Nair (4/4/2015 3:09:00 AM)

    This poem needs to be read every day like morning prayer. Gentleness will seep in.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
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  • Gabina (gabby) Gomez (3/24/2010 12:42:00 AM)

    like it this is one that i might want to read again, , later in life(Report)Reply

    16 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Sarah Wes (4/23/2009 7:47:00 PM)

    beautiful! wonderful message too. i love it!(Report)Reply

    20 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: peace, child, fear, joy, life, heart, love, running, children

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 8, 2001