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Rudyard Kipling Quotes

Winner of the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature


Rudyard Kipling was a prolific writer. He made an immense contribution to English literature with a variety of short stories, poetry, and classics. Kipling was famous for his originality, range, and narration. In 1907, he won the Nobel Prize for literature. Here are some quotes extracted from his legendary stories and poems.

  • The Conundrum of the Workshops
    We have learned to whittle the Eden Tree to the shape of a surplice peg,
    We have learned to bottle our parent twain in the yolk of an addled egg.
    We know that the tail must wag the dog, for the horse is drawn by the cart,
    But the devil never whoops, as he of old; It's clever, but is it art?

  • Naulahka
    Now it is not good for the Christian's health
    To hustle the Aryan brown,
    For the Christian riles and the Aryan smiles,
    And it weareth the Christian down.
    And the end of the fight
    Is a tombstone white
    With the name of the late deceased
    And the epitaph drear: "A fool lies here
    who tried to hustle the East."

  • Christmas in India
    High noon behind the tamarisks,
    The sun is hot above us.
    As at home the Christmas Day is breaking wan,
    They will drink our health at dinner,
    Those who tell us how they love us,
    And forget us till another year be gone!

  • The Power of the Dog
    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    But when we are certain of sorrow in store
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

  • We and They
    All the people like us are we,
    And everyone else is they.

  • The English King
    What is the flag of England?
    Ye have but my breath to dare,
    Ye have but my waves to conquer.
    Go forth, for it is there.

  • Recessional Hymn
    God of our fathers, known of old,
    Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
    Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
    Dominion over palm and pine
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

  • Recessional Hymn
    The tumult and the shouting dies,
    The captains and the kings depart;
    Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
    A humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet
    Lest we forget -- lest we forget

  • 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 shall need it
    Lie down for an eon or two,
    Till the Master of All Good Workmen
    Shall set us to work anew.

  • When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted
    Le present est gros de l'avenir. (The present is big with the future.)

  • For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck 'im out, the brute!"
    But it's "Savior of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot.

  • Mother o' Mine
    If I were hanged on the highest hill,
    Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
    I know whose love would follow me still,
    Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

  • We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.

  • I always prefer to believe the best of everybody… it saves so much trouble.

  • Everyone is more or less mad on one point.

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