Be Careful What You Say
Source of witness transcribed: The Cambria Freeman (Ebensburg, Pennsylvania)
Date of witness transcribed: 10 October 1873
Notes about this poem: "Be Careful What You Say" was printed in at least 216 newspapers during the nineteenth century. It can be found using ID 1032917 in this table of most widely-reprinted poems.
- In speaking of a person’s faults
- Pray don’t forget your own;
- Remember, those with homes of glass
- Should seldom throw a stone;
- If we have nothing else to do
- But talk of those who sin,
- ‘Tis better we commence at home,
And from that point begin.
- We have no right to judge a man,
- Until he’s fairly tried;
- Should we not like his company,
- We know the world is wide;
- Some may have faults—and who have not—
- The old as well as young;
- Perhaps we may, for aught we know,
Have fifty to their one.
- I’ll tell you of a better plan,
- And find it works full well;
- I try my own defects to cure
- Before of others tell;
- And though I sometimes hope to be
- No worse than some I know,
- My own shortcomings bid me let
The faults of others go.
- Then let us all, when we commence
- To slander friend or foe,
- Think of the harm one word may do
- To those who little know;
- Remember, curses, sometimes like
- Our chickens, “roost at home;”
- Don’t speak of others’ faults until
- We have none of our own.