Monday, June 6, 2011

Rudyard Kipling’s My new cut ashlar

Rudyard Kipling’s My new cut ashlar
My new-cut ashlar
Rudyard Kipling
My new-cut ashlar takes the light
Where crimson-blank the windows flare.
By my own work before the night,
Great Overseer, I make my prayer.
If there be good in that I wrought
Thy Hand compelled it, Master, Thine--
Where I have failed to meet Thy Thought
I know, through Thee, the blame was mine.
One instant’s toil to Thee denied
Stands all Eternity’s offence.
Of that I did with Thee to guide,
To Thee, through Thee, be excellence.
The depth and dream of my desire,
The bitter paths wherein I stray--
Thou knowest Who has made the Fire,
Thou knowest Who has made the Clay.
Who, lest all thought of Eden fade,
Bring’st Eden to the craftsman’s brain--
Godlike to muse o'er his own Trade
And manlike to stand with God again!
One stone the more swings into place
In that dread Temple of Thy worth.
It is enough that, through Thy Grace,
I saw nought common on Thy Earth.
Take not that vision from my ken--
Oh, whatsoe'er may spoil or speed,
Help me to need no aid from men
That I many help such men as need!

Songs From Books by Rudyard Kipling. London : MacMillan and Co., Limited, 1926 302pp + endpage, pp. 43-44.

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