The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.@2 Timothy 2:24-26

George W. Hangford, 1847. Appeared in Sharpe’s London Magazine, volume V, page 256, 1847-48.

Sawley James Walch, 1860 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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 world as best they may,
’Tis full of anxious care.

Speak gently to the agèd 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 must 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 fierce in strife,
Said to them, Peace, be still!

Speak gently: ’tis a little thing
Dropped in the heart’s deep well;
The good, the joy which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.