The Tone of Voice

(This was taped to my computer the year I taught High School–and frequently pops into my head. Thought I’d share it.)

It’s not so much what you say
As the manner in which you say it;
It’s not so much the language you use
As the tone in which you convey it.
“Come here!” I sharply said,
And the child cowered and wept.
“Come here,” I said
He looked at me and smiled
And straight into my lap he crept.
Words may be mild and fair
But the tone may pierce like a dart;
Words maybe soft as the summer air
But the tone may break my heart;
For words come from the mind
Grow by study and art
But tone leaps from the inner self,
Revealing the state of the heart.
Whether you know it or not,
Whether your mean or care,
Gentleness, kindness, love and hate,
Envy, anger are there.
Then, would you quarrels avoid
And peace and love rejoice?
Keep anger not only out of your words
Keep it out of your voice.

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