The Kiplings and India: A Collection of Writings from British India, 1870-1900Main MenuWorks by the KiplingsDigital Editions of Works by the KiplingsBy AuthorSocial Movements in British IndiaRepresenting FamineMaterials related to the Famines of the 1870s on this siteTimeline: The Kiplings and IndiaA visual guide to dates and events involving the Kiplings and Indian culture 1870-1900GlossaryA Path containing Glossary entriesMap: Place Names in 19th-Century British-IndiaGoogle Map, Dublin Core Term: SpatialWorks CitedGeneral BibliographyEditorial TeamBios of Individuals Involved in this ProjectAmardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1
12016-06-11T19:44:35-04:00The Last Department (Rudyard Kipling)3Poem by Rudyard Kipling. "Departmental Ditties" (1886)plain2016-06-12T15:33:00-04:00 Twelve hundred million men are spread About this Earth, and I and You Wonder, when You and I are dead, "What will those luckless millions do?"
"None whole or clean," we cry, "or free from stain Of favour." Wait awhile, till we attain The Last Department where nor fraud nor fools, Nr grade nor greed, shall trouble us again.
Fear, Favour, or Affection--what are these To the grim Head who claims our services? I never knew a wife or interest yet Delay that pukka step, miscalled "decease";
When leave, long overdue, none can deny; When idleness of all Eternity Becomes our furlough, and the marigold Our thriftless, bullion-minting Treasury
Transferred to the Eternal Settlement, Each in his strait, wood-scantled office pent, No longer Brown reverses Smith's appeals, Or Jones records his Minute of Dissent.
And One, long since a "pillar of the Court" As mud between the beams thereof is wrought; And One who wrote on phosphates for the crops Is subject-matter of his own Report.
[These be the glorious ends whereto we pass-- Let Him who Is, go call on Him who Was; And He shall see the mallie steals the slab For currie-grinder, and for goats the grass.]
A breath of wind, a Border bullet's flight, A draught of water, or a horse's fright-- The droning of the fat Sheristadar Ceases, the punkah stops, and falls the night
For you or Me. Do those who live decline The step that offers, or their work resign? Trust me, Today's Most Indispensables, Five hundred men can take your place or mine.