Judge Gently

by I. H. Plemmons

Pray, don't find fault with the man that limps
Or stumbles along the road.
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load

There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
Though hidden away from view
Or the burden he bears placed on your back
Might cause you to stumble too

Don't sneer at the man who's down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
That only the fallen know

You may be strong but still the blows
That was his if dealt to you
In the selfsame way, at the selfsame time
Might cause you to stagger too

Don't be too harsh with the man that sins
Or pelt him with word or stone
Unless you are sure - yea, doubly sure -
That you have no sins of your own

For you know if the tempter's voice
Should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him when he went astray
It might cause you to falter too

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