In middle life, in the cheerfully serious verses of “A Pilgrim’s Way” Kipling had insisted that:
Heaven and Hell which in our hearts we have
Show nothing irredeemable on either side the grave
As a young artist, loyally open to all that was ‘given, he had not needed this fortifying chant. As an old one, he was content to separate what he saw from what he hoped, and to present his hopes with a fantasy that acknowledges the insuffency of the human imagination before ultimate mystery.