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If Men Only Understood (Poem)

If men only understood
That the wrong act of a Brother
Should not call from them another,
But should be annulled with kindness,
That their eyes should aid his blindness,
They would find the Heavenly Portal
Leading on to Love immortal—
If they only understood.

If men only understood
That their wrong can never smother
The wrong-doing of another;
That by hatred hate increases,
And by Good all evil ceases,
They would cleanse their hearts and actions,
Banish thence all vile detractions—
If they only understood.

If men only understood
That the heart that sins must sorrow,
That the hateful mind tomorrow
Reaps its barren harvest, weeping,
Starving, resting not, nor sleeping;
Tenderness would fill their being,
They would see with Pity's seeing—
lf they only understood.

If men only understood
All the emptiness and aching
Of the sleeping and the waking
Of the souls they judge so blindly,
Of the hearts they pierce unkindly,
They, with gentler words and feeling,
Would apply the balm of healing—
If they only understood.

If men only understood
That their hatred and resentment
Slays their peace and sweet contentment,
Hurts themselves, helps not another,
Does not cheer one lonely Brother,
They would seek the better doing
Of good deeds which leaves no rueing—
If they only understood.

If men only understood
How Love conquers; how prevailing
Is its might, grim hate assailing;
How Compassion endeth sorrow,
Maketh wise, and doth not borrow
Pain of passion; they would ever
Live in Love, in hatred never—
If they only understood.

This poem is also published in Poems of Peace.


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James Allen

James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.

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