Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

The Palace


1902


When I was a King and a Mason - a Master proven and skilled -
I cleared me ground for a Palace such as a King should build.
I decreed and dug down to my levels. Presently, under the silt,
I came on the wreck of a Palace such as a King had built.

There was no worth in the fashion - there was no wit in the plan -
Hither and thither, aimless, the ruined footings ran -
Masonry, brute, mishandled, but carven on every stone:
'After me cometh a Builder. Tell him, I too have known.'

Swift to my use in my trenches, where my well-planned ground-works grew,
I tumbled his quoins and his ashlars, and cut and reset them anew.
Lime I milled of his marbles; burned it, slacked it, and spread;
Taking and leaving at pleasure the gifts of the humble dead.

Yet I despised not nor gloried; yet, as we wrenched them apart,
I read in the razed foundations the heart of that builder's heart.
As he had risen and pleaded, so did I understand
The form of the dream he had followed in the face of the thing he had planned.

* * * * *

When I was a King and a Mason - in the open noon of my pride,
They sent me a Word from the Darkness. They whispered and called me aside.
They said - 'The end is forbidden.' They said - 'Thy use is fulfilled.
'Thy Palace shall stand as that other's - the spoil of a King who shall build.'

I called my men from my trenches, my quarries, my wharves, and my sheers.
All I had wrought I abandoned to the faith of the faithless years.
Only I cut on the timber - only I carved on the stone:
'After me cometh a Builder. Tell him, I too have known! '

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: faith, pride, dream, heart, rose, running, work

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Palace by Rudyard Kipling )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
[Hata Bildir]