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Musings in Maoriland

Not Understood

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Not Understood.

Not understood. We move along asunder,
  Our paths grow wider as the seasons creep
Along the years; we marvel and we wonder
  Why life is life? and then we fall asleep,
    Not understood.

Not understood. We gather false impressions,
  And hug them closer as the years go by,
Till virtues often seem to us transgressions;
  And thus men rise and fall, and live and die,
    Not understood.

Not understood. Poor souls with stunted vision
  Oft measure giants by their narrow gauge;
The poisoned shafts of falsehood and derision
  Are oft impelled 'gainst those who mould the age,
     Not understood.

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Not understood. The secret springs of action,
  Which lie beneath the surface and the show,
Are disregarded; with self-satisfaction
  We judge our neighbours, and they often go,
     Not understood.

Not understood. How trifles often change us!
  The thoughtless sentence or the fancied slight
Destroy long years of friendship and estrange us,
  And on our souls there falls a freezing blight;
     Not understood.

Not understood. How many breasts are aching
  For lack of sympathy! Ah! day by day,
How many cheerless, lonely hearts are breaking!
  How many noble spirits pass away
     Not understood!

Oh, God! that men would see a little clearer,
  Or judge less harshly where they cannot see;
Oh, God! that men would draw a little nearer
  To one another, they'd be nearer Thee,
     And understood.