Nay, speak no ill, a kindly word
Can never leave a sting behind;
And oh, to breathe each tale we’ve heard,
Is far beneath a noble mind.
Full oft a better seed is sown
By choosing thus the kinder plan;
For, if but little good is known,
Let’s speak of all the good we can.
Give me the heart that fain would hide,
Would fain another’s faults efface:
How can it please the human pride
To prove humanity but base?
No! let us reach a higher mode,
A nobler estimate of man,
Be earnest in the search for good,
And speak of all the best we can.
Then speak no ill, but lenient be
To other’s feelings as your own;
If you’re the first a fault to see,
Be not the first to make it known.
For life is but a passing flood,
No lip can tell how brief the stay;
Be earnest in the search of good,
And speak of all the best we may.