If We But Knew Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


If we but knew the weary wayA
The poisoned paths of hostile hateB
The roughened roads of fiercest fateB
Through which our brother's journey layA
Would we condemn as now we doC
His faults and failures if we knewC
Would we forget the shadows grimD
The lonely hours of grief and painE
The follies dead the pleasures slainE
The tears and toils that hindered himD
And only prize the deeds that grewC
To mighty conquest if we knewC
Would careless hand sow tares of strifeF
Amid the blooms of happy careG
And plant in spite of sigh and prayerG
Wild thorns amid the blameless lifeF
Till sorrows rule the nations throughC
With scarce a rival if we knewC
Would we be quicker with our praiseH
And gladly give the greatest meedsH
As recompense for noble deedsH
And heroes crown with brightest baysH
And slay all foes that hearts imbueC
With doubt and weakness if we knewC
From lofty kings would constant worthI
On peasant brows their crowns bestowJ
And rising from her overthrowJ
Eternal justice rule the earthI
While right would strip the favored fewC
To bless the many if we knewC
If we but knew Ah well a dayA
From lives that murmur full of illsH
Behind the shadows of the hillsH
God hides our brother's heart awayA
And we shall know in vales of restK
That His eternal ways are bestK

Freeman E. Miller


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