Unto this Last

Original Text: 
S. de V. Julius, Poems (London: Longmans, 1928): 124. British Library 011644.eee.52
2Should so betray the grasping World and me
3That any other meaning is prefer'd
4Than the plain truth, "This last as unto thee"?
5From time unharness'd, and to service dead,
6And the day's labour ended, -- shall we then
7Find our work judged by "time," and not as said
8By "quality," and twist His Word again?
9Be honest then and quit the vulger crew
10That envious think, "how much is done," the test,
11And not, "how well 'tis done," and try to do,
12As if "this last" were you, your simple best.


1] Unto this Last, by John Ruskin (1819-1900): a book about social reform, alluding to Jesus' parable of the labourers in the vineyard: "Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee" (Matthew 20.14). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001.