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When Earth’s Last Picture is Painted by Kipling

When Earth’s last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it – lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen Shall put us to work anew.

And those that were good shall be happy: they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comet’s hair.
They shall find real saints to draw from – Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;
And no one will work for the money, and no one will work for the fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They are!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jwm November 9, 2021, 8:06 AM

    “But each for the joy of the working…”

    And the joy of work is what sustains me during these increasingly dark and worrisome times. The morning tour through the online bookmarks usually leaves me wanting to find a cliff, and jump off it. But after recharging my pessimism, I unlock the garage, get the tools out, set the table up, and pour some more coffee. The first task is just staring into the stone. Coffee helps with that. Stare long enough, and the obscene chatter of the daily news falls silent, the lights go on, the directions become clear, and I have a task for my hands, and mind. I’m gonna’ create some beauty here, and joy is the by-product. I often hear myself utter a spontaneous prayer of thanks for this gift.


  • Sam L. November 9, 2021, 8:07 AM

    Let us Kipple with Kipling. He knows what he’s doing.

  • Aggie November 9, 2021, 8:08 AM

    I’ve not seen this before. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Kevin in PA November 9, 2021, 8:11 AM

    It’s another from Kipling that is new to me.

  • julie November 9, 2021, 8:14 AM

    New to me, too.

    Thanks, Gerard.

  • Jewel November 9, 2021, 8:45 AM

    Thanks to you, I have a mind nourished on beautiful poetry.

  • Dirk November 9, 2021, 10:36 AM

    Kipling, amazing., we are blessed we have a site host whom is clearly on par, with Kipling, the other greats. A man of reaching wisdom, and vision.

    Rare qualities in these days of extreme short sightedness!

  • Wilfred Ruffian November 9, 2021, 2:06 PM

    Kipling: one of only three poets I can understand.
    Clear as an Icelandic lake,sharp as a razor.

  • Tom Hyland November 9, 2021, 5:53 PM

    I’ve got a 1939 copy of “Rudyard Kipling’s Verse – Definitive Edition” published by Doubleday. It’s 836 pages thick. This poem appears on page 226 and was written in 1892. I’ve read a lot of these poems but not this one until today…. and I just don’t think I’ll get to them all. Mark Twain was in total awe of the man. Kipling was living up in Vermont but the two met in New York City and sat together down at Washington Square which was about a block away from where Twain was living at the time.

  • Casey Klahn November 10, 2021, 4:12 AM