Be gentle...


It is the duty of all men to be gentle to the 'sons of sorrow'.

There be some who from their very birth
are marked by melancholy as her own.

The silent shades of sorrow are their congenial haunts,
the glades of the forest of grief are the only places
where their leaf can flourish.

Others there are who through some crushing misfortune
are brought so low that they never hold up their heads again,
but go from that time forth mourning to their graves.

Some there be, again, who disappointed in their early youth,
either in some fond object of their affections, or else in some
project of their young ambition, never can dare to face the
world, but shrink from contact with their fellows, even as
the sensitive plant curls up its tendrils at the touch.

In all flocks there must be lambs, and weak and wounded
sheep; and among the flock of men, it seems that there
must necessarily be some who should more than others
prove the truth of Job's declaration,
"man is born to trouble even as the sparks fly upwards."

It is the duty then of those of us who are more free than others
from despondency of spirit, to be very tender to these weak
ones. Far be it from the man of courageous disposition, of stern
resolve, and of unbending purpose, to be hard towards those
who are timid and despairing.

If we have a lion-like spirit, let us not imitate the king of
beasts in his cruelty to those timid fallow deer that fly
before him, but let us place our strength at their service
for their help and protection.

Let us with downy fingers bind up the wounded heart;
with oil and wine let us nourish their fainting spirits.

In this battle of life, let the unwounded warriors bear
their injured comrades to the rear, bathe their wounds,
and cover them from the storm of war.

Be gentle with those that are desponding.