“When Earth’s Last Picture is Painted”

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 will 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!
–Rudyard Kipling

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