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My New-Cut Ashlar
[Editor's Note: an 'ashlar' is a dressed or neatly trimmed block of stone; think of this as a stonemason's prayer--Steve]
- 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 hast 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 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 may help such men as need!
- Rudyard Kipling
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