Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted


When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors 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'll sit in a golden chair
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They'll 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.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem (When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted by Rudyard Kipling )

  • Rookie Harlie Mountain (9/28/2012 3:48:00 PM)

    I had to memorize this poem in the 4th grade. I am 70 years old and can still recite it. It has always been my favorite poem. (Report) Reply

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