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Our Cambridge Collection has changing exhibitions about Cambridge.  Much of our collection is in storage to ensure its preservation for future generations.


A Parody

by E J A Ferguson, Cambridge, written in the context of the 1913 Watersider’s Strike
From The Camp Gazette – 3 December 1913

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, the Feds have made a blunder;
The males’ views vary, as the wives are shedding tears.
They marvel and they wonder what possessed
The farmers to upset their domineering,
And admit it is ‘not understood’.

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

Not understood, they gather false reports,
And spread them broadcast with an ain’t in view.
Till wisdom reason, common sense, etc.
Forget them, as they ought to do, being understood.

Not understood, poor souls with stunted vision
Oft measure giants by their narrow gauge;
The poisoned shafts of falsehood and derison
Are often impelled against those who mould the age, not understood.

Not understood, poor misguided workmen, some rational some otherwise.
Oft think they are the only factor
Connected with the industry of the Colony,
But find themselves pitted against those who work the soil and understand.

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, The secret societies of foreign lands,
Which practise all that is not fair,
Have succeeded thus far, in sending us
Some undesirables, but they must go, well 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 fall a freezing blight, not understood.

Not understood, how strikes, they do affect us.
The dreadful boss, or the so called cursed wealth,
Destroy the peace of mind of ‘wont works,’
And put us all in a state not good for health, ‘still’ – understood.

Not understood how many breasts are aching, for
Lack of sympathy
Oh, how many cheerless, lonely hearts are breaking,
How many noble spirits pass away, not understood.

Not understood, how many homes are miserable, for
Lack of food?
How many innocent, noble wives and children are suffering
Through Federation tactics which must prove no good (nor understood).

Oh, God, that men could see a little clear,
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.

Oh, God that ere long men will have some sense,
And cease these games that cause such offence;
But whether they do or not
They must see it is all rot,
To bump against a force so strong.
And we pray that ere long
They will see the error of their ways
And join with us in loud hurrahs,
Signalling the end of all this strife,
Then will know that life is life, and all understand.