TRUE CULTURE

The highest culture is to speak no ill;
The best reformer is the man whose eyes
Are quick to see all beauty and all worth;
And by his own discreet, well-ordered life,
Alone reproves the erring.
                                        When thy gaze
Turns it on thy own soul, be most severe.
But when it falls upon a fellow-man,
Let kindliness control it; and refrain
From that belittling censure that springs forth
From common lips like weeds from marshy soil.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.


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