It’s true that sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words are such a different projectile,
For even do the deadliest of drones
Annihilate the living in a while;
But words may lodge themselves within the heart
In some dark corner that the jinn know well,
And there they linger as a poison dart
Secreting the intoxicants of hell.
Remember now when he with tongue so mild
Had turned, a brokenhearted man, to Ṭāʾif
To be rejected, driven and reviled
In what was then his weakest time in life.
Yet when the wrath of angels sprang above,
He held them back with words of patient love.