We do not hold the right to chide,
Our brother—aye, he is our fiend:
To flout and damn, world without end,
The foibles that the past should hide,
Deep hidden in his heart of hearts,
Or maybe shining forth alone
Is the good trait. Our censure smarts
And sears till it is overthrown—
Speak the good word!

Speak the good word–-the word that gives
The newer impulse and the hope,
A word that helps, and grows, and lives
A light to them that blindly grope
Through all the darkness of despair.
They know their faults, and know them well!
Of censuring they have their share—
The kind words are the ones that tell:
Speak the good word!

A good word is a helping hand,
A coin that’s minted of fine gold;
To read the rote of faults we’ve banned
May loose the eager climber’s hold.
Our life is short; we cannot do
All we would have it comprehend,
But this much, truly, I and you
May do each day for this our friend—
Speak the good word!