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If We Only Knew

From the Newark Evening Star, July 29, 1914. By Rudyard Kipling.

If we knew the cares and trials,
    Knew the efforts all in vain,
And the bitter disappointment,
    Understood the loss and gain—
Would the grim eternal roughness
    Seem—I wonder—just the same;
Should we help where now we hinder,
    She we pity where we blame?

Ah! We judge each other harshly,
    Knowing not life’s hidden force—
Knowing not the fount of action
    Is less turbid at its source;
Seeing not amid the evil
    All the golden grains of good;
And we’d love each other better
    If we only understood.

Could we judge all deeds by motives
    That surround each other’s lives,
See the naked heart and spirit,
    Know what spur the action gives,
Often we would find it better
    Just to judge all actions good;
We should love each other better
    If we only understood.

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