From the Evening Star, June 24, 1913. By Walt Mason.
A little word is but a sound, a sawed-off chunk of wind; we scatter little words around from here to farthest Ind. They are such inexpensive things we don’t economize, and so the world we live in rings with foolish words and wise. A little word costs just a breath, the shortest breath you drew; yet it may wound some heart to death—some heart that’s good and true. And it may wreck some man’s renown, or stain a woman’s fame, and bring bright castles tumbling down into the muck of shame. Your little words, like poisoned darts, may crooked fly, or straight, and carry into loving hearts the venom of dire hate. Be not so lavish with the breath that forms the words of woe, the words that bear the chill of death and lay true friendships low. A word is but a slice of air that’s fashioned by your tongue; so never let it bring despair or grief to old or young. But give to it the note of love and it will surely seem the symbol of the life above, and of an angel’s dream.