WOULDST thou a wanderer reclaim, 

A wild and restless spirit tame, 

Check the warm flow of youthful blood, 

And lead a lost one back to God? 

Pause, if thy spirit's wrath be stirred, 

Speak not to him a bitter word, 

Speak not, that bitter word may be 

The stamp that seals his destiny.

If widely he hath gone astray,

And dark excess has marked his way,

'T is pitiful, but yet beware,

Reform must come from kindly care.

Forbid thy parting lips to move

But in the gentle tones of love.

Though sadly his young heart hath erred,

Speak not to him a bitter word.

The lowering frown he will not bear; 

The venomed chiding, will not hear; 

The ardent spirit will not brook 

The stinging tooth of sharp rebuke; 

Thou wouldst not goad the restless steed, 

To calm his fire or check his speed, 

Then let no angry tones be heard, 

Speak not to him a bitter word.

Go kindly to him, make him feel 

Your heart yearns deeply for his weal; 

Tell him the perils of the way 

Wherein his devious footsteps stray, 

So shalt thou win him call him back 

From pleasure's smooth, seductive track; 

And warnings thou hast mildly given, 

May guide the wanderer to Heaven.