When I was a King and a Mason-a master proven and skilled- I cleared me ground for a Palace such as a King should build. I decreed and cut down to my levels, and presently, under the silt, I came on the wreck of a Palace such as a King had built. There was no worth in the fashion-there was no wit in the plan- Hither and thither, aimless, the ruined footings ran- Masonry, brute, mishandled; but carven on every stone: "After me cometh a Builder. Tell him I, too, have known." Swift to my use in my trenches, where my well-planned ground-works grew, I tumbled his quoins and ashlars, and cut and reset them anew. Lime I milled of his marbles ; burned it, slacked it and spread; Taking and leaving at pleasure the gifts of the humble dead. When I was King and a Mason-in the open noon of my pride, They sent me a Word from the Darkness-They whispered and called me aside. They said-"The end is forbidden." They said-"Thy use is fulfilled, "And thy Palace shall stand as that other's -the spoil of a King who shall build. " I called my men from my trenches, my quarries, my wharves and my sheers. All I had wrought I abandoned to the faith of the faithless years. Only I cut on the timber-only I carved on the stone: "After me cometh a Builder. Tell him I, too, have known." Rudyard Kipling's "The Palace"