Nature has given the opportunity of happiness to all, knew they but how to use it. —Claudian
The last sentence, "knew they but how to use it", made no sense to me, neither grammatically or literally.
My understanding is that "people know the existence of the opportunity of happiness but they don't know how to use it". (Still, pretty weird)
Anyway, what does "knew they but how to use it" mean here? Could you explain the grammar structure of it to me?