Transcription Notes:

This Internet file is not an exact copy of the book. Certain liberties have been taken. A very few spellings have been modernized, and typographic errors corrected.

If a more precise rendition is required, a photocopy of the book is available online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=FM7h04TQHe8C&pg=PA1, but this is a limited preview only.

There was no artwork in this book. There was no Table of Contents, the ToC in this file was compiled by the transcriber. There was an alphabetical index. The MPS transcriber has compiled indexes of first lines, authors, and periodicals cited, which are at the end of this file.

Describing itself in the Preface as a "century of poems", this collection of 92 poems dating from 1730 to 1924 included about 40 that were duplicated elsewhere in the MPS collection, so whenever this occured, we hyperlinked a cross-reference rather than duplicated the text. On a few much-reproduced poems or if we were certain of an earlier publication, we left off the source reference, but as a rule it was left in, if only to establish an earliest date for the writing of each poem.

This volume does not identify the compiler, but it is part of the "Little Masonic Library" series, overall edited by Carl Claudy, so he is presumptively the compiler of this volume.

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MASONIC POEMS





WASHINGTON, D. C.
THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION
OF THE UNITED STATES


copyright, 1924
by
THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION
OF THE UNITED STATES



Printed in U.S.A.


Preface

Masonry has had more singers than songs to sing! Untold numbers of brethren with the happiness of brotherhood in their hearts and a sincere desire to voice it to the world, have written Masonic verse. Few there are who have written verse which is also poetry.

No lesser poets will take offense if Kipling and the two Bobbies Burns and Morris are named here as those whose music has sounded most sweetly in the ears of Masons. Yet there are others, and if the task of culling from thousands of well meant efforts, the hundred here set forth, was difficult, surely the result justifies the work. Few great Masonic poems there are, and none too many which satisfy the critical ear as well as the loving heart. To be metrical, poetic and Masonic at one and the same time is not, apparently, given as a gift to the many!

Yet some have accomplished what is readily seen to be a difficult task. The Editor does not flatter himself that this collection is a complete anthology; nor does he make apology for the lack of arrangement, made necessary by the small size and restricted number of these pages. But here are, indeed, if not all the lovely songs which have been writ of Masonry for Masons, at least a sufficient number to make Harmony for an hour.

Swinburne, cameo artist in words, sped his "Century of Rondels" "out to sea"; no better introduction can be written to this Century of Masonic poems than his beautiful envoy;

Fly, white butterflies, out to sea,
Frail pale wings for the winds to try,
Small white wings that we scarce can see,
Fly.

Here and there may a chance-caught eye
Note in a score of you, twain or three
Brighter of darker of mould or dye.

Some fly light as a laugh of glee,
Some fly soft as a low long sigh;
All to the haven where each would be,
Fly.

MASONIC POEMS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Mason's Greeting Barss 1
Abou Ben Adhem Hunt 1
Ancient Masonic Song - 2
Mind Of God Morris 2
Masonic Ode Mitchell 3
Mason's Pledge Morris 4
Goddess Of Masonry Forshaw 5
Freemason's March Birkhead 6
Model Mason Morris 7
Five Points Symbolism McAulay 8
Let There Be Light Cummings 9
I Sat In Lodge With You Nesbit 10
Try The Square Barker 11
Apprentice Degree - 12
Fellowcraft Degree - 12
Master Degree - 13
Builders Forshaw 13
Palace Kipling 14
Is It Masonry? Oliver 15
Tubal Cain Mackey 16
God's Freemasonry Haywood 18
Old Masonic Toast - 19
Mason Marks anonymous 20
Unto The Least Of These Holmes 21
Each In His Own Tongue Carruth 22
Each In His Own Tongue Fulkerson 23
Let There Be Light Webb 23
Apron Symbolism McAulay 24
Level And The Square Morris 26
On The Apron Burns 27
Level And The Square Mitchell 28
Three Great Lights - 29
Apron Scott 30
Plumb McAulay 31
Lodge Room Over Simpkin's Store Greenleaf 32
Masonry Cabell 34
Cradle and The Charge Mitchell 34
We Are Two Brothers Haywood 35
Lodge Welcome To The Ladies Morris 36
Cornerstone McLauchlin 37
Five Points Of Fellowship Morris 38
Orare, Laborare, Cantare Blackie 40
Auld Lodge Jack 41
Ebony Staff Of Solomon Meredith 42
Acrostic: Geometry Mitchell 43
Temple Greenleaf 44
Habitation Of The Grand Architect Gierlow 45
Initiation Of The Prince Of Wales Harvey 46
Mason's Holy House Pike 47
Mason Lodge Goethe 48
I Am! - 49
Mother Lodge Kipling 50
My Ashlar Free 53
Apostrophic Ode Dorsey 54
Mystic Art Bulwer-Lytton 55
Masonic Ode [Faith Of Our Fathers] Faber 56
Our Work Darnall 56
Our Brethren At The Front - 57
Of Masonry: An Ode Bancks [or Banks] 59
Pledged! Forshaw 60
Mason's Sacred Trust Folsom 61
Sonnet Claudy 62
Mason's Word Gibson 62
Square And Compass Slane 63
Eastward Facing Gate Reedy 64
Voice Of America Bowman 65
Senior Warden Werge 66
To Stretch The Liberal Hand anonymous 67
Apron Looney 68
Presenting The Lambskin Apron Hempstead 69
Fraternity Guyton 70
Let There Be Light Hempstead 70
Entered The Light Sellery 71
A Mason Mason 72
Creed Grassman 72
Masonic Jewels Gibson 73
Masonic Light Reed 74
Square McLauchlin 74
In Fellowship Boutelle 75
Broken Ashlar Brandes 76
Original Hymn Robbins 76
Knight Rose Croix Evans 77
Live on! O Masonry, Live On! Greenleaf 78
Mason's Prayer Richardson 79
Craftsman of Nazareth Clegg 80
Who Would Not Be A Mason Forshaw 81
O, Mother Lodge, We've Wandered Far Greenleaf 82
Brother Robert Burns Campbell 84
Closing Hymn Wingham 85
Father's Lodge Malloch 86
Masonic Farewell Burns 87
Working Tools MacBride 88
Ah, When Shall We Three Sheppard 88
Title Index (in alphabetical order) 89-91
List Of First Lines (In Page-Sequence Order) (only poems in this file)
List Of First Lines (In Alphabetical Order) (only poems in this file)
Author Index (in alphabetical order)
Index of Magazines Cited
page 1

A Mason's Greeting

by Bro. John Edmund Barss
(from The Builder, March, 1916)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 1

Abou Ben Adhem

by Mr. Leigh Hunt

Click on the title to find out about this poem.


page 2

An Ancient Masonic Song

This song was first published in 1756
(from The Freemason, London)

'Tis Masonry unites mankind,
To gen'rous actions, forms the Soul;
In friendly Converse all conjoined,
One Spirit animates the whole.

Wher'er aspiring Domes arise,
Wherever sacred Altars stand;
These Altars blaze into the skies,
The Domes proclaim the Mason's Hand.

As passions rough the Soul disguise,
Till Science cultivates the Mind;
So by the rude Stone shapen lies,
Till by the Mason's art refin'd.

Tho' still our chief Concern and Care
Be to deserve the Brother's Name:
Yet ever mindful of the Fair,
Their kindest influence we claim.

Let wretches at our Manhood rail;
But they who once our Order prove,
Will own that we who build so well,
With equal energy can love.

Sing, brethren, then, the craft divine,
(Best band of social joy and mirth,)
With choral sound and cheerful wine,
Proclaims its virtues o'er the earth.

page 2

Mind Of God

by Bro. Rob. Morris

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 3

Masonic Ode

The following ode was composed by Brother J. K. Mitchell, for the occasion of laying the corner stone of the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which took place December, 1854.

Click on the title to view this poem.


page 4

The Mason's Pledge

by Bro. Rob Morris

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 5

The Goddess Of Masonry

by Bro. Charles F. Forshaw, M.D.
(from The Freemason's Chronicle)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 6

Freemason's March

"The words of this song were first printed in Watt's Musical Miscellany (Vol.3 of 6), 1730, under the title 'The Freemason's Health.' It appears in many eighteenth century song collections, the tune most commonly used appearing for the first time in Pills to Purge Melancholy, (Vol. 2), 1719. It was popular well into the nineteenth century." The Builder.

Click on the title to view this poem, under the title 'The Entered Apprentice's Song' by Matthew Birkhead.


page 7

The Model Mason

by Bro. Rob Morris

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 8

The Five Points Symbolism

by Bro. N. A. McAulay
(from The Builder, Oct. 1916)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 9

"Let There Be Light!"

by Bro. Cummings
(from The Voice of Masonry, 1894)

Brother, kneel before the altar,
In silence grave.
Show no weakness. Do not falter
Like cowan knave.
Honest brethren stand around you,
With heart and hand,
Ready to encourage, aid you,
A noble band.
Here you need not fear deception
All are true
Every brother here assembled
Knelt like you.
With throbbing hearts they silent listen
To your voice,
As you tell in earnest whisper,
Your free choice.
Gently loose the new made brother
From his cord,
He is bound by stronger fetters,
On God's Word.
Hearken to the Master's language:
"Pray for Light,"
Responsive voices chant the echo:
"Let there be Light."
Welcome, brother, to our household,
You are Free;
May it ever prove a blessing
Unto thee.

page 10

I Sat In Lodge With You

by Bro. Wilbur D. Nesbit

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 11

Try The Square

by Bro. David Barker
(from Brotherhood, New York City, May, 1916)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 12

Apprentice Degree

The Travel

Through midnight dark I feebly grope my way
Oppressed with fear;
I dread to go, and yet I dare not stay
With danger near;
Eternal Father! guide my feet aright,
And lead me, step by step, up to the Light.

I do not know the secret path I tread
Thro' scenes unknown,
I humbly wander whither I am led
Thy power I own;
Eternal Father! guide me through this night,
And lead me, step by step, up to the Light.

The World, its pride and passions, wealth and power,
All, all are gone;
Blind, poor, and weak I trust, in this dread hour,
On Thee alone;
Eternal Father! guide me in Thy Might,
And lead me, step by step, up to the Light.

page 12

Fellowcraft Degree

The Travel

Onward moves the whole Creation,
Working out the eternal plan;
Sun and planet, stream and ocean,
Flower and forest, beast and man,
Never resting, ever going
Forward on their destined way;
Spring to Summer - glory growing,
Morn merging into Day.

Forward, Brother, then be going,
To the might of manhood move;
And thy going be it in growing,
And thy growing be it in love.

page 13

The Master Degree

The Travel

Life's brief moments, swiftly flying,
Speed us near and nearer Death;
Earth and Time are quickly dying,
Passing like a vapor breath.

Earth and all its passions perish,
Time and all its duties cease;
Wealth and power, that mankind cherish,
Bring us here no joy and peace.

Swift, swifter still, at every breath,
Near, and more near, steals silent Death;
Help! help us now, O Thou Most High!
In this dread hour of mystery.

page 13

The Builders

by Bro. Charles F. Forshaw, M.D., Baltimore House, Bradford, England; August 14th, 1916
(from Masonic Sun, Toronto, Canada; October, 1916)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 14

The Palace

by Bro. Rudyard Kipling
(from his Collected Verse)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 15

Is It Masonry?

by Bro. F. G. Oliver
(from The Builder, March, 1915)

Is it Masonry
To dare to take God's name in vain,
Or be careful of our speech;
From evil thoughts and words refrain,
And practice what we preach?

Is it Masonry
To boast of your fine jewels,
Or purify your heart;
To be a man and Mason
And act a Mason's part?

Is it Masonry
To fail to help your brothers,
Or your obligations fill;
To leave it for the others,
Or mean and say "I will"?

page 16

Tubal Cain

Bro. Rev. Charles Mackay
(from Masonic Bulletin, Des Moines, Iowa, April, 1915)

Click on the title to view this poem under the title "Old Tubal Cain."


page 18

God's Freemasonry

by Bro. H. L. Haywood
(from The Builder, Dec. 1918)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 19

There is a very similar poem to the one below on the MPS Toasts page.
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An Old Masonic Toast

To him that all things understood,
To him that found the stone and wood,
To him that hapless lost his blood,
In doing of his duty,
To that blest age, and that blest morn
Wherein those three great men were born,
Our noble science to adorn
With Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.

page 20

Mason Marks

anonymous

Click on the title to view this poem.


page 21

Unto The Least Of These

by Bro. George Sanford Holmes
(Dedicated to the Denver Orphans' Home)
from The Square & Compass, Denver, Colo., Dec., 1921)

Hail, Craftsman, hail! Canst thou in honor say
Thou hast fulfilled the glory of this day,
Ere thou hast heard the plea of those who miss
A mother's holy love, a father's kiss?

Though from thy lavish hand such riches pour
As even princes had not known before,
Hast thou much given while a Brother's child
Wakes to a dawn on which Christ has not smiled?
If thou hast children, or the memories
Of dear soft lips that once thy cheek didst know,
Give to the orphaned waifs and thou wilt please
The Master who hath said long, long ago:
"As ye have done it to the least of these,
Thus ye have done it unto Me also."

page 22

Each In His Own Tongue

by Mr. William Herbert Carruth

To this beautiful conception, Deputy Grand Master Roe Fulkerson, Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, has added the following inspiration:

Click on the title to view these poems.


page 23

Let There Be Light

(from The Freemason's Repository for 1797)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 24

The Apron Symbolism

by Bro. N. A. McAulay
(from The Builder, Dec., 1916)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 26

The Level And The Square

by Bro. Rob Morris
(This poem, written in August, 1854, is the most popular of all written by the Masonic laureate.)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 27

On The Apron

by "Bobbie" Burns

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page under the title 'The Master's Apron'.


page 28

The Level And The Square

An Ode to an Ode

by Bro. L. B. Mitchell
(from The Builder, Feb., 1917)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.

page 29

The Three Great Lights

(from The S.A. Masonic Journal)

Click on the title to view this poem.


page 30

The Apron

by Bro. J. Hubert Scott
(from The Builder, Oct., 1915)

Guard thou this Apron even as thy soul!
High Badge it is of an undaunted band,
Which, from the dawn of a dim forgotten time,
Has struggled upward in the quest of light;
Light that is found in reverence of Self
Unselfish Brother-love, and love of God.
This light now on thine Apron shines undimmed;
Let ne'er a shadow intercept its beams.

Thine eyes late saw the Sun burst from the East,
Marking the Morn of thy Masonic day,
Calling thee forth to labour with thy peers,
Gird then thy lambskin; nor fail to find
In it a thought of brooks and sweet clean fields,
Haunts of this lamb through many a sunny hour.

Find in it, too, nobler thought of Him
The light ineffable, the Lamb of God,
Immaculate, unstained by shame or sin,
Who dying left ensample to all men
Who would build lives in purity and truth.

In Wisdom plan thy Apprentice task; divide
Thy time with care, thy moments spend as though
Each day were lifelong, life but as a day.
In purity of heart and sheer integrity
Use thou this gavel on each stubborn edge,
Divesting thought of aught perchance might stain,
Or scar, or tear this badge of shining white.

At Midday in the Craft's high fellowship,
Gird round thy life these bands of loyal blue,
Uniting with thee all to thee akin.
Strong in a deepening knowledge, bend thy skill
To leveling false pride in place attained,
To squaring thy foundations with the truth,
To setting each new stone in rectitude.

When in the West the Evening turns to gold
And beautifies what Strength and Wisdom reared,
Pause not, but search thy trestle-board, God's plan;
And ply with solemn joy thy master tools,
Earth's many cementing into heaven's one.

Wear worthily this thy Masonic badge,
While still thy body toils to build thy soul
A mansion bright, beyond the gates of death,
No edifice that crumbles back to clay,
But a glorious house eternal in the skies.

Full soon an unseen Hand shall gently stay
Thine arm; and upon thine Apron, scutcheon bright,
Shall rest the Allseeing Eye, adjudging there
The blazoned record of thy workmanship.
Anon, thy Sun goes out and brothers lay,
With thee, thine Apron in the breast of earth,
Among forgotful archives of the dust.

These, now, be Mason's wages; when from his hands
Forever fall the working tools of life,
Arising, to ascend to loftier work;
From out the lowly quaries to be called
To labour in the City of the King;
Glad in the light of one long endless day,
To serve anew the Celestial Architect
And Sovereign Master of the Lodge Above.

Thy portion, Brother, may it be to hear
These welcome words, when the great Judge shall scan
Thy work, "Well done! Thou good and faithful servant,
Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

page 31

The Plumb

by Bro. Neal A. McAulay
(From The Builder, August, 1915)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 32

The Lodge Room Over Simpkin's Store

by Bro. Lawrence N. Greenleaf

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 34

This MSA book contained only the first and two final verses of this next poem. This longer version was taken from the Mystic Star magazine April, 1872, with the title "The Masonic Temple." No author was cited, but J.A.Cabell graduated from university in 1873, so the date matches.
okl.


Masonry

by Bro. James Alston Cabell, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia
(from The Square & Compass, Denver, Colo., July, 1922)

Three thousand years have rolled away
Upon the tide of time,
Since Masonry began her march
Of noble deeds sublime.
And though the angry storms of war
Have swept the earth with fire,
Her temple stands unscathed, unhurt.
With sunlight on its spire.

Old empires, long the praise of men.
Have faded from the earth;
Kings with their thrones have passed away.
Since Masonry had birth.
The sceptered monarch, in his pride.
Has long since met his doom,
And naught is left of his domain.
Save solitude and gloom.

Proud Egypt, with her wondrous arts,
Her mysteries of old
Has slept beneath the tide of time,
As swift his current rolled;
And Greece, with all her ancient wealth,
Of genius and of fame,
Scarce holds amid the nations now
The honor of a name.

The glittering towns of Troy, to which
The foes of Priam came,
To meet a welcome for their deeds
From lips of Spartan dame,
Have long since tottered from their base.
And mouldered to decay:
The glory of that mighty race,
With them has passed away.

Amid the ravages that swept
The cities of the plain
'Mid crumbling of Imperial thrones
The fall of power and fame,
Fair Masonry has still survived,
The nation's horrid doom ;
A beacon 'mid the night of years.
To gild the clouds of gloom.

From Oriental climes she came,
To bless the Western World,
And rear her temple 'neath the flag
Which liberty unfurled;
Fair Freedom welcomed to our shores
This maid of heavenly birth;
While thousands of our human poor
Now own her generous worth.

Ten thousand widows in their weeds,
Have blessed her advent here,
And many a homeless heart
has owned her tender care;
Full many a frail and erring son,
To dissipation given,
Has heard the warning voice and turned,
His wayward thought to heaven.

Long may her grand old temple stand,
To light this darkened Sphere;
To gild the gloom of error's night,
And dry the falling tear;
And when the final words of Time
Shall sweep this reeling ball,
Oh, may its glittering spirits be
The last on earth to fall.

page 34

The Cradle And The Charge

by Bro. L. B. Mitchell
(from Oriental Consistory Magazine, Sept., 1920)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.

page 35

We Are Two Brothers

by Bro. H. L. Haywood
(from The Builder)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 36

Lodge Welcome To The Ladies

by Bro. Rob Morris

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 37

The Cornerstone

by Bro. R. J. McLauchlin
(from The Detroit Masonic News, Sept., 1922)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 38

The Five Points Of Fellowship

by Rob Morris

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 40

Orare, Laborare, Cantare

by John Stuart Blackie

Click on the title to view this poem.


page 41

The Auld Lodge

Written by Bro. George Jack, D.M., of Mother Kilwinning Lodge No. 0, of Kilwinning, Scotland, in 1893, on moving into the new lodge hall.

The auld lodge, the auld lodge,
Auld, auld, though you may be,
There ne'er can be a new lodge
E'en half sae dear tae me,
Oh soon, oh soon, ye'll be nae mair,
The house I lo'ed sae dear,
And naething left tae tell us then
The place where once you were.

Oh, weel I mind when I was young,
My memory still retains
O' brithers that are noo awa'
Tae their lang, lanely hame.
And when I think on former years,
My heart seems tae get foo,
Tae leave yo noo in your auld age
Na mair tae meet in you.

But we maun leave you, auld lodge,
For ane that's granner noo,
Nae mair tae meet within your wa's,
Nor homage pay tae you.
Sae, fare you weel noo, auld lodge,
Tae you I bid adieu,
Till this life ends on earth below
I will remember you.

page 42

The Ebony Staff Of Solomon

by Owen Meredith

Click on the title to view this poem.


page 43

Acrostic

by L. B. M.[Mitchell]
(from The Builder, March, 1916)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page, under the title "Geometry".

page 44

The Temple

by Bro. Lawrence N. Greenleaf

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page, under the title "The Temple Of Living Stone".


page 45

The Habitation Of The Grand Architect

by Bro. Rev. J. Gierlow
(from The Masonic Mirror, Oct., 1872)

God dwells in light!
Before the ocean of unmeasured space
Was islanded with stars serenely bright
Reflecting back the radiance of His face,
He dwelt above, in Heaven's immortal bliss,
Thinking into existance that which is.

God dwells in light!
Before He laid the world's foundation-stone
High on the nothing of primeval night,
And in Heaven's centre throned the eternal sun,
He dwelt above, beyond the far-off sky,
With Angels born of His Eternity.

God dwells in light!
And holds within the hollow of His hand
The universe of worlds which gem the night,
Which, through Heaven's sea, at His divine command,
Freighted with His own smiles, now sail at even,
Fearless of storms, around the sun in Heaven.

God dwells in light!
And where He dwells, there spirits also dwell,
Who drink fresh glory from His face so bright,
As stars drink from the sun's deep golden well
Exhaustless beams, so that they never die,
And thereby show His immortality.

page 46

The Initiation Of The Prince Of Wales

by Bro. William Harvey, Provincial Grand Bard of Forfarshire
(from The Dundee Advertiser)

The Craft owre a' the land this day
Adorns the Lodge wi' garlands gay,
Auld England shouts, in brave array,
"Hail, Mason-Prince!
And Scots in canty, couthie way,
Their hopes evince!

Our Prince and Brither! Here's our prayer!
May Boaz build thy Royal chair
In strength; may peace and pleasure mair
Then fill thy cup;
May walth o' years be thine to share
Our sign and grup!

In spite o' what the Paip asserts,
May Jachin in Masonic hearts
Establish thee, thou lad o' pairts
Prince o' the free;
And loyalty frae o' the airts
Encompass thee!

Thou'lt learn the knack o' Rule and Line,
The Square the Compasses the Sign;
Be tauld what Masons ne'er maun tine
Faith, Hope, and Love
Their three great symbols o' divine
Grand Lodge above.

So, Brither Masons, raise your hand!
This day the highest in the land
Joins wi' the humblest: tak's his stand
At First Degree:
Let's enter him into our band
Wi' "Three times three!"

page 47

Mason's Holy House

by Bro. Albert Pike

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 48

Mason Lodge

by Bro. Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
(Translated from the German by Thomas Carlyle)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 49

I Am!

Author Unknown

Are you a Mason? Aye, I am! But stay
The mere profession of its principles,
When unsupported by the daily acts
Of duty it involves, proves false the tale,
And Truth, that attribute divine, the sure
Foundation of Masonic heritage,
Shrinks back appalled at such a mockery,
Which, like the barren fig tree, fair to sight,
Is but the semblance of a fruitful tree.
"Faith without works is dead;"
Profession without practice, dead, also;
A man's a Mason only when he strives
To make his practice quadrate with his creed.

What is a Mason?
Symbol of a race,
Grand and historic, 'neath whose steadfast hands
The mighty fabric of the Temple rose,
Until in beauty and strength it stood
Harmoniously proclaiming, God is great!
Though at the dictum of the power to whom
'Twas raised overthrown and crumbled into dust,
With not a fragment left to mark the place,
Or tell the tale of its magnificence;
The art survives, but not alone
In perishable stone.

Through faith in God,
And hope of immortality, we build
A spiritual temple to His name;
Founded on Truth and righteous Charity.
Oh, glorious fellowship! Unshackled by
Mortal interpretation of the word
Vouchsafed by God to man, we seek the Truth
In Love, the refulgent essence of all Truth,
Which is of God alone, and God is Love.
He, then, who takes the compasses in hand
To circumscribe his daily life, will find
The center in that Love to God expressed
In deeds of charity and love to men.

page 50

The Mother Lodge[*]

by Bro. Rudyard Kipling

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.

[*] To appreciate fully Kipling's stories of India one must have an intimate knowledge of India and Indian peoples. Every phrase contains some pointed remark about Indian life that is occult to all except those that have the key. Very typical of this is his poem, "The Mother Lodge," that describes a certain Masonic lodge in India. No doubt many a Mason has read it, but its significance is more than seems at first sight.

The narrator is an ordinary English soldier of the lower classes, vulgar, dropping his h's and g's but good-hearted at bottom and with a certain dim ideal dawning upon his consciousness. In his Mother-Lodge, there were first several English, himself as Junior Deacon, and then two employees of the Government Railway, another from the army commissariat, a jail inspector, and Conductor-Sergeant Blake, who was the Master. All these were Christians and, though then in India, of the Established Church of England.

There were, however, other nationalities and religions represented. Old Framjee Eduljee, who dealt in goods imported from Europe in his "Europe-shop," is a Parsee by race and a Zoroastrian by religion; Bola Nath, accountant, is an orthodox Hindu, belonging to the writer sub-caste of the third great caste. Then there was the Hebrew, Saul, from Aden, and Din Mohammed, follower of the Prophet of Islam. Babu Chuckerbutty (a Bengalee form of the Sanskrit Chakravarti) is of course a Brahmin and a Hindu of the Hindus; but Amir Singh, though Hindu, follows the Sikh faith, one of the many semi-orthodox off-shoots of Hinduism, and Castro, an Eurasian "half-caste," is a Roman Catholic.

After labor they could not eat or drink, "lest a brother's caste were broke!" but they could smoke, and smoke they did, "trichies" cheroots made in Trichinopoly in South India, with the cigar lighter (hog-darn) passing from one to another. And while the butler (khansamah) snored without on the "bottlekhana" floor (pantry), the talk would veer to religion, "every man comparin' of the God 'e knew the best." Comparative Religion was no doubt studied in a lame fashion, but still they found it was " 'ighly curious," and when they went home to bed it was with "Mo'ammed, God, an' Shiva changin' pickets in our 'ead."

In the outer world salutation was according to the world's obligations and conventions "Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!" but once inside the lodge it was "brother!" And proud-of-race, uncultured Tommy Atkins realized that there was a view of the world wherein there was neither white nor black, Jew nor Gentile but only brothers.

The Builder, March, 1917


page 53

My Ashlar

by Bro. George H. Free
(from The Square & Compasses, New Orleans, La., April, 1921)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 54

An Apostrophic Ode

by Bro. William Dorsey
(from Masonic Constellation, St. Louis, Mo., Oct., 1909)

Hail Masonry! thou theme divine,
Thou source of Light, and Truth, and Love
Through all the earth thy glories shine;
Thy secret place the heavens above,
Where constellations grand
In beauteous order stand
To light thy Lodge beyond the skies.

In all thy symbols we may trace
The grandeur of thy mystic plan;
Thy forms, thy lights, thy secret place,
Thy steps, thine outer door and man
Still toiling on through strife
To higher, nobler life,
Till faith and sight are merged in one.

Thy hand first smote the ponderous ore,
And shaped the curious handicraft
The polished steel, and proudly bore
The flashing sword and pointed shaft
A last resort to wield
On freedom's battlefield,
And stay the strong against the weak.

Yet more thy hand hath shaped the plow,
The axe, the scythe, the reaping hook,
And stately vessel's cleaving prow
Till savage men their wars forsook,
And commerce ranged the seas
And freighted every breeze
With richest stores from every clime.

All o'er the earth thy temples grand
With massive pillars, chaplet crowned,
Like love and solemn epochs stand
While grander ruins, ivy bound,
Lie slumbering with the past;
And long as time shall last
The world will own their grandeur first.

Thy Pillars, Square and Trestleboard,
Teach Wisdom, Beauty, and Design;
And to the Master, each afford,
In turn, instruction all divine.
A symbol too is given
That leads from earth to heaven,
By Faith, and Hope, and Charity.

Nor less sublime thy mighty Gobes,
With boundless seas and whelming flood
And glittering skies in starry robes,
That tell of an eternal God,
Whose Lodge is o'er all space,
Whose dwelling every place,
And working hours eternity.

Thy Sword, thy Naked Heart, the Eye
That all the earth and seas survey;
Thy Sun, and Moon, and Starry Sky;
Thy Glass, that marks life's ebbing day,
The Anchor and the Ark,
The wreck of life's frail barque,
Proclaim thy origin divine.

page 55

The Mystic Art

(This poem has been attributed to Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 56

Masonic Ode [*]

"At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, held in January, 1920, the following ode was sung. It is a reminder of the troublous times when Free Masonry there was banned, and Free Masons persecuted and slain by the Spanish rulers dominated by the papal power and its friars. That condition ceased with American control."
Oriental Consistory Magazine, Dec., 1921.

Faith of our fathers, living still
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy,
When e'er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We'll be true to thee till death!

Our fathers chained in prisons dark
Were still in heart and conscience free:
How sweet would be their children's fate,
If they, like them, could die for thee!
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We'll be true to thee till death!

Faith of our fathers! we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life:
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We'll be true to thee till death!


[*] This standard Christian hymn, under its usual title of "Faith Of Our Fathers," really has little to do with Freemasonry. In fact, it originally came from the source which the above introduction cites it as being a pan of deliverance from! It was written by Fr. Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), a Catholic Priest, in 1849, in response to Protestant persecution of Catholics in England, and originally ended, far from any mention of the Philippines, with the words, "England shall then indeed be free."

This hymn does have a further Masonic connection, though. In 1945 (21 years after this book was published), "Faith Of Our Fathers" was sung at the funeral for Brother Mason Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who died during his fight to free Europe and Asia from the chains of Hitler and his cohorts.

We would have left this one out, as we did with #2, but there are so many variations about that we did want to record which verses were used here. However, this poem is not included in the MPS index.
okl.


page 56

Our Work

by W. H. Darnall
(from The Virginia Masonic Journal, Richmond, Va., Aug., 1910)

Once more we meet communion sweet
A Brotherhood of Love;
Our only art, an honest heart,
That seeks the things above.

God give us grace, each in his place,
To meet His holy will;
In ease or pain, in loss or gain,
True service to fulfil.

0ur one great light, to show the right,
The everlasting word;
Our one employ, our one great joy,
To build for Him, our Lord.

When toil is done, and one by one,
We meet with our release;
Beyond the tomb. life's perfect bloom
The Temple, Heaven, Peace.

page 57

Our Brethren At The Front

(from Brotherhood, New York City, July, 1918)

God of our Fathers, at Whose call,
We now before Thine altar fall;
Whose grace can make our Order strong,
Through love of right and hate of wrong,
We pray Thee in Thy pity shield
0ur Brethren on the battlefield.

Aseep, beneath Thine ample dome,
With many a tender dream of home;
Or charging, in the dust and glare,
With bullets hurtling through the air,
We pray Thee in Thy pity shield
0ur Brethren on the battlefield.

O soon, Thou Blessed Prince of Peace,
Bring in the days when War shall cease,
And men and brothers shall unite
To fill the world with love and light,
We pray Thee in Thy pity shield
0ur Brethren on the battlefield.

The song above was also found in an Anglican hymnal dated 1917.


page 59

The song below was printed in a "Exclamation Point And Capitalization-Intensive!" style, and many 's's are replaced by 'f's, mimicing the old-style ''. Unlike the book, which used the same character for lowercase S and F, we've used the curly-f character for some clarity. We've included both the original and a modernized version from a different source here: click your mouse on the text below to toggle to the other version. The first three lines of the second verse are different between the two, as well as an occasional word throughout the rest of the poem.
okl.

Of Masonry: An Ode

by Bro. John Bancks of England, 1738

GENIUS of MASONRY! decend,
In mystic Numbers while We ing;
Enlarge Our Souls, the craft defend;
And hither all Thy Influence bring.
With ocial Thoughts Our Booms fill,
And give Thy Turn to ev'ry Will!

While gros BATAVIA, wall'd with Mud,
Thy purer Joys delight no more;
And winding SEINE, a captive Flood,
Laments thee wand'ring from his Shore;
Here pread Thy Wings, and glad thee Iles.
Where ARTS reide, and FREEDOM miles.

Behold the LODGE rie into View!
The Work of INDUSTRY and ART.
'Tis grand, and regular, and true:
For o is each good MASON'S Heart.
FRIENDSHIP cements it from the Ground,
And SECRECY hall fence it round.

A STATELY DOME o'erlooks Our Eat,
Like Orient PHOEBUS in the Morn;
And TWO TALL PILLARS in the Wet
At once upport Us, and adorn.
Upholden thus, the Structure tands,
Untouch'd by acrilegious Hands.

For Concord form's, Our Souls agree,
Nor Fate this Union hall detroy;
Our Toils and Sports alike are free,
And all is Harmony and Joy.
So SALEM'S Temple roe by Rule,
Without the Noie of noxious Tool.

As when AMPHION tun'd his Song,
Ev'n rugged Rocks the Muic knew;
Smooth'd into Form they glide along,
And to a THEBES the Deert grew;
So at the Sound of HIRAM'S Voice
We rie, We join, and We rejoice.

Then may Our Vows to Virtue move!
To VIRTUE, own'd in all her Parts:
Come CANDOUR, INNOCENCE, and LOVE;
Come and poes our faithful Hearts:
MERCY, who feeds the hungry Poor,
And SILENCE, Guardian of the Door!

And Thou, ASTREA, (tho' from Earth,
When Men on Men began to prey,
Thou fled'st to claim celetial birth,)
Down from OLYMPUS wing Thy Way!
And, mindful of Thy antient Seat,
Be preent till where MASONS meet!

Immortal SCIENCE, too, be near!
(We own Thy Empire o'er the Mind)
Dres'd in Thy radiant Robes appear,
With all Thy beauteous Train behind;
INVENTION, young and blooming, there;
Here GEOMETRY with Rule and Square.

In EGYPT'S Fabrick Learning dwelt,
And ROMAN Breats could Virtue hide:
But VULCAN'S Rage the Building felt,
And BRUTUS, last of ROMANS, dy'd:
Since when, dipers'd the Siters rove,
Or fill paternal Thrones above.

But, lot to half the human Race,
With Us the VIRTUES hall revive;
And, driv'n no more from Place to Place,
Here SCIENCE hall be kept alive:
And MANLY TASTE, the Child of SENSE,
Shall banih VICE and DULLNESS hence.

United thus, and for thee ends,
Let SCORN deride, and ENVY rail;
From Age to Age the CRAFT decends,
And what We build hall never fail:
Nor hall the World Our Works urvey;
But ev'ry BROTHER keeps the KEY.
Genius of Masonry descend,
In mystic numbers while we sing;
Enlarge our souls, the craft defend,
And hither all Thy influence bring.
With social thoughts our bosoms fill,
And give Thy turn to every will.

While yet Batavia's wealthy powers
Neglect thy beauties to explore;
And winding Seine, adorned with towers,
Laments thee wandering from his shore;
Here spread thy wings, and glad these isles.
Where arts reside, and Freedom smiles.

Behold the lodge rise into view,
The work of industry and art;
'Tis grand, and regular, and true,
For so is each good Mason's heart.
Friendship cements it from the ground,
And Secrecy shall fence it round.

A stately dome o'erlooks our east,
Like orient Phbus in the morn;
And two tall pillars in the west
At once support us and adorn.
Upholden thus the structure stands,
Untouched by sacrilegious hands.

For concord formed, our souls agree,
Nor fate this union shall destroy;
Our toils and sports alike are free,
And all is harmony and joy.
So Salem's temple rose by rule,
Without the noise of noxious tool.

As when Amphion tuned his song,
E'en rugged rocks the music knew;
Smoothed into form they glide along,
And to a Thebes the desert grew;
So at the sound of Hiram's voice
We rise, we join, and we rejoice.

Then may our voice to Virtue move,
To Virtue owned in all her parts:
Come, Candour, Innocence, and Love,
Come and possess our faithful hearts:
Mercy, who feeds the hungry poor,
And Silence, guardian of the door.

And thou, Astrea, (though from earth,
When men on men began to prey,
Thou fledest to claim celestial birth,)
Down from Olympus wing thy way;
And, mindful of thy ancient seat,
Be present still where Masons meet.

Immortal Science, be thou near,
(We own thy empire o'er the mind;)
Dressed in thy radiant robes appear,
With all thy beauteous train behind;
Invention young and blooming there,
Here geometry with rule and square.

In Egypt's fabric learning dwelt,
And Roman breasts could Virtue hide:
But Vulcan's rage the building felt,
And Brutus, last of Romans, died:
Since when, dispersed, the sisters rove,
Or fill paternal thrones above.

But, lost to half the human race,
With us the Virtues shall revive;
And, driven no more from place to place,
Here Science shall be kept alive:
And manly taste, the child of Sense,
Shall banish Vice and Dulness hence.

United thus, and for these ends,
Let Scorn deride, and Envy rail;
From age to age the Craft descends,
And what we build shall never fail:
Nor shall the world our works survey;
But every brother keeps the key!

page 60

Pledged!

by Bro. Charles F. Forshaw, M.D.
(from Tyler-Keystone, Ann Arbor, Mich., July, 1915)
(On seeing the Jewel of a Past Master exposed for sale in a pawnbroker's window.)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 61

The Mason's Sacred Trust

by Bro. Montgomery M. Folsom
(from The Masonic Constellation, St.Louis, Mo., May, 1908)

We know not when this earthly form
May seek its kindred clod,
But this we know, through sun and storm,
Tbe deathless spark will be kept warm
By child-like trust in God.

The square and compass of our creed
Shall cause this sin-cursed sod
To burgeon with a noble deed
For those who in their time of need
Preserve their trust in God.

As blossoms sprout from meanest mold,
Burst from the plainest pod.
So, bud as Aaron's rod of old,
The withered hearts whose sweets untold
Bespeak their trust in God.

We walk the thorny path of time
With fearless feet unshod,
Because ours is the faith sublime
Of mankind in the peerless prime
Of simple trust in God.

For well we know the ways we tread
By holy men were trod,
The strange and mystic stars that led
To bliss by those who felt no dread,
But put their trust in God.

And some day we shall stand with Him
Before whose slightest nod
The nations bow, the stars grow dim,
The tides fall on the ocean's rim,
But we shall raise that grand, sweet song
Far-echoing through the aeons long,
The Mason's trust in God!

page 62

Sonnet

by Carl H. Claudy
(from The Master Mason, Oct., 1924)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page under the title "The Road."


page 62

The Mason's Word

by Bro. Rev. John George Gibson
(from The Tyler-Keystone, Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan., 1914)

O Mason, pass thy word before the Throne:
The throne of Truth and Light.
Thine Honour pledge to God in Heaven above,
Each day to do the Right.
Then Mason, by the square of Holiest Law,
Test every sweet desire.
Plumb well each plan; then eager forward go
To noblest things aspire.

And Mason, never pass thy word to Man
Save as the Law commands.
But when 'tis right, then in fighting van,
Each Mason faithful stands.
Each Mason's word, though cautiously 'tis given,
Is gone beyond recall;
Though hearts, by tempting afterthoughts, be riven,
For e'er he gives his all.
The word was in the stoneyard plumbed and squared,
'Tis now for aye built in;
The King can never have his courses bared
Sin's wage to win.

What e'er the cost of loyalty may be,
The Mason dares not fail
His Honour's word to keep, and bends the Knee
Before the Mystic Vail.
And thus the Mason's word becomes the sign
Of Honour's Holy Cross;
Of true obedience to the God benign
Who glorifies each loss.

page 63

The Square And Compass

by Bro. Odillon B. Slane
(from The Builder, June, 1917)

Both points beneath the square,
Darkness, doubts, dungeons of despair,
Yet trusting in God who answers prayer,
Follow your guide nor fear nor care,
Light will come with effulgent glare.

One point above the square,
As yet but partially there
Is light; for more light prepare,
As you ascend the winding stair.

Both points above the square
Friendship and Morality share
With Brotherly Love, tenets taught where
Masons kneel, and vow, and swear.

page 64

The Eastward Facing Gate

by Bro. Rev. James J. H. Reedy
(from The New Age Magazine, Sept. 1919)

"Then he brought me back by the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary that looketh toward the east." Ezekiel 44:1.

Three score years and six and more,
Treading mountain, vale and shore,
Wondering what the end shall be
What the future has for me.

Not alone each place I go,
Marked by painful step and slow,
Visions bright oft seal the day,
Milestones marked upon the way.

One score years and ten and more,
Studying Mason's golden lore;
Such has been my happy lot,
Gaining thence each blessed thought.

Marked by the Master with His Name
Since this way Himself He came
Light from Him shall lead us straight
Toward the Eastward-facing Gate.

Fellow-Crafts we still must be
While we sail upon life's sea;
Rudder, compass, pilot He,
Trust in Him our only plea.

Safely landed home at last,
Entrance gained to such repast
As the Master shall provide
Those who Him have ne'er denied.

page 65

Voice Of America

by Josephine B. Bowman
(from Brotherhood, May, 1921)
[also in The Builder, Jan., 1921]

I have taken the breed of all nations,
Barred no religion or race,
From the highest and lowest of stations
They came and I found them place.

Powers invisible drew them,
Freedom unborn was their quest,
'Til my uttermost borderlands knew them
The least of the world and the best.

They came with the wisdom of sages,
The darkness, the stain and the dirt,
They came with the glory of ages,
And I took them my hope and my hurt.

I have gathered the breed of all nations,
Drawn from each caste and each clan;
Tried them and proved them and loved them
And made them American.

Made them a nation of Builders,
Fearless and faithful and free,
Entered them, passed them and raised them
To the Master's Sublime Degree.

Theirs is the task of restoring
The Ancient and Honored Guild
The work to the Speculative,
The spirit to those who build.

'Til none shall be less than a Master,
And know but one Ruler above,
Bound by the spirit of justice
And the mortar of brotherly love.

'Til the house shall belong to the Workman
And the Craft come again to its own;
And this is your task, oh, my people!
Through you will the Lost Word be known.

page 66

The poem below was presented in Scots dialect, but since that was also available in another file on this site, it was decided to use this as an opportunity to present it translated into modern English (which only consisted in expanding a few contractions with this poem no words had to be changed for once).
okl.


The Senior Warden

by J. Werge, of Glasgow, Scotland

Of all the seats within our hall
I dearly love the West;
For here the Brethren, great and small,
At parting have been blest;
And memory lends her ready aid
Recalling all the past;
The many times we've met, and prayed
It might not be the last.

Each time we're Brothers, Brothers all,
And every worthy guest,
For here we to the Level fall,
Even Kings are like the rest;
They may be great in Church and State,
Or any other sphere;
The poor, the rich, the low, the great,
Are on a level here.

Assembled in our Sacred hall
We're with our Order blest,
For by the great unerring law,
We're lowly in the West.
Before us we have Wisdom's light
And Beauty shining there,
Here Strength to keep the work aright
By acting on the Square.

This symbol tells us once and all
Who with the light are blest,
How grand and mighty structures fall
And mingle in the West.
When faith must be our password on
To the Celestial goal,
Where Kings and peasants stand as one
On the Grand Master's roll.

page 67

To Stretch The Liberal Hand

Anonymous

Click on the title to view this poem.


page 68

The Apron

by Bro. O. E. Looney, M.D.
(from The Builder, July, 1917)

Emblem more ancient
Than order is old,
Whose story, fancy
Has never all told.

Culled from the innocent
Pro'type of Christ,
Worn in Fulfillment
To circumscribe vice.

Presented on entrance,
In "Temples of Light,"
To Entered Apprentices,
Whose trust is placed right.

Worn on his journey,
From threshhold to Sanctum;
Heart filled with yearning,
Circumspect, thankful.

Worn by him proud
Through life as a token
Of acts unallowed,
And secrets unspoken;

Placed on the coffin
Of his last remains,
An emblem to soften
Our loss, of its pains.

page 69

Presenting The Lambskin Apron

by Bro. Fay Hempstead

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 70

Fraternity

by Bro. David E. Guyton
(from The Builder, Oct.,1915)

We build us temples tall and grand,
With gifts we heap our alters high,
Unheeding how, on every hand,
The hungry and the naked cry.

We sound our creeds in trumpet tone,
With zeal we compass land and sea,
Unmindful of the sob and moan
Of souls that yearn for sympathy.

We hurl to hell, we bear above,
With equal ease we loose or bind,
Forgetful quite that God is Love,
And Love is large, and broad, and kind.

O Thou Eternal Largeness, teach
Our petty, shrivelled souls to swell
Till Thou, within their ampler reach,
In every human heart may dwell;

Till Love alone becomes the creed
Of every nation, tribe and clan;
The Fatherhood of God, indeed,
The blessed Brotherhood of Man.

page 70

Let There Be Light

by Bro. Fay Hempstead
(from Virginia Masonic Journal, Richmond, Va., Dec., 1908)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 71

Entered The Light

by Bro. F. H. Sellery
(from The Trestleboard, Detroit, Mich., March, 1916)

The way was dark, no light could I discern
I knew not whither, east or west, I went;
I did not even know the road would turn
But I, on seeking "light," was solely bent.

I passed the ones who guard the sacred way
Then I was told to kneel and 'tend a prayer
To Deity, whose mighty power holds sway
O'er all the mortals who assembled there.

And when my heart did quake with sudden fear
That even now I might not find the light,
A soft voice whispered in my ear:
"Fear not!" and all misgivings took their flight.

At last I reached a place 'twas holy ground;
I knelt before the "Master" on the throne,
While all the other mortals gathered round
To lend their aid and see his will was done.

I humbly asked that I the light might see,
And learned the truth as other mortals had;
And then a voice of great authority
Rang out! I saw the light and I was glad.

page 72

A Mason

by Bro. Carl W. Mason
(from The Virginia Masonic Journal, Richmond, Va., March, 1916)

A Mason's hand is a hand that helps,
That lifts the fallen one,
That comes, in need, with a kindly deed
To him whose strength is gone.

A Mason's heart is a heart that loves
The best that is good and true
He stands the friend, his best to lend,
Under his banner blue.

A Mason's eye is an eye that smiles
And his a cheeering voice;
He spreads the light, dispels the night
And makes the world rejoice.

Over the earth in stranger lands,
Where distant peoples dwell,
The eye, the grip, the life, the lip,
Of love unchanging tell.

page 72

A Creed

by Bro. Herbert R. Grassman
(from Square & Compass, Denver, Colo., June, 1915)

Hark ye, Masons, men of love,
Men of faith and men of fame!
Listen to the muffled cries
Of men in bondage, bound in shame!

Oh, what ignorance rules supreme!
Oh, what darkness hides the Light!
Oppose and fight all things unclean
You are champions of the Right!

God in all His glory rules,
Watching over us with care;
He sends us wisdom, love and truth
With our fellow-men to share.

Teach men how to see the Light
Not by word of mouth or pen,
But by deeds so kind and bright
Illuminate life's path. Amen.

page 73

Masonic Jewels

by Bro. John George Gibson
(from The Builder, April, 1917)

Does the square that you wear mean the test by your God
Of the work that you do, and the word that you speak,
Of the will of your mind, the thought of your heart,
Of the Past that is gone, of the Future you seek?

The Compass you wear, does it mean that you move
Within the true bound appointed and sure,
Restricted desire, pleasure defined,
A yielding of self to the bonds that endure?

The Triangle too great emblem of Him
Who is Maker, and Master, Beginning and End,
Do you wear it to show that He is to you
The Source and the Aim that all others transcend?

What means the gold Trowel that hangs at your chain?
Does it tell of the mortar of Love that you spread?
Of the joint well cemented with fine brotherly love?
Of the stones that now lie in the well-mortared bed?

If 'tis not so, then take the poor jewels away;
The meaningless bauble will only deceive
Yourself and the others you meet on your way
As meaningless lies which none ever believe.

page 74

Masonic Light

by Bro. Frank W. Reed
(from Masonic Monthly, Philadelphia, Pa., May, 1917)

When back we look upon the darksome way
From which we traveled with uncertain mind,
The selfsame mystic monsters do we find
Still making dolts their arrogance obey.

Confusing craftiness seeking to dismay
Each forward thought; their mental eyes to blind,
Enthroned deceit yells curses from behind,
And preaches hell to crutch its dying sway.

But when at last the will asserts its force,
And gains release from shackles long endured,
The phantom doubt dissolves in dawning light;
And from on high, where freedom gets it source,
A soul, new-born, of future life assured,
Finds God is love in each Masonic Rite.

page 74

The Square

by Bro. R. J. McLauchlin

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 75

In Fellowship

by Bro. C. M. Boutelle
(from The Builder, Nov., 1915)

My foot to thy foot, however thy foot may stray;
Thy path for my path, however dark the way.

My knee to thy knee, whatever be thy prayer;
Thy plea my plea, in every need and care.

My breast to thy breast, in every doubt or hope;
Thy silence mine too, whatever thy secret's scope.

My strength is thy strength, whenever thou shalt call;
Strong arms stretch love's length, through darkness, toward thy fall!

My words shall follow thee, kindly warning, fond,
Through life, through drear death and all that lies beyond!

page 76

A Broken Ashlar

by Bro. Seymour Brandes
(from The New Age Magazine, Washington, D.C., April, 1915)

A sense of imperfection round me clings;
I hear an inward voice in deep lament:
Through the dark chancel of my soul there rings
A boding chant, with fear and yearning blent.

Thin as a specter's voice in lonely round:
I cannot tell from whence it came or why;
It harrows all my thoughts with mournful sound,
Like echoes of a drowning seaman's cry.

The precious pearls of wasted talent thrown
In isolated spots of my life's field:
Its irrecoverable riches sown
As worthless seed that gave a barren yield.

The images of folly, sloth and sin
That flecked with error all my nobler past,
Troop mockingly around with leering grin;
I view with shuddering doubt I am aghast!

page 76

Original Hymn

(Rendered by Joseph Robbins at the celebration of St. John the Baptist Day, June 24th, 1866.)

Beneath Thy temple's bending dome
We meet, O Architect Divine
Grand emblems of that brooding care,
Which makes these human temples thine.

Father, as we our altar rear,
Within the over-arching wood,
Oh, do thou raise in every heart
An altar to the True and Good.

Its incense be the love we bear
To every earth-born child of Thine.
Fan with Thy breathing love to flame
The spark of brotherhood divine.

Safe resting on Thy mighty arm,
Guide us through all these earthly ways,
And grant thus in Thy heavenly Lodge
To join in never-ending praise.

page 77

Knight Rose Croix

by Bro. Henry Ridgely Evans

In Twain the temple vail is rent;
The sheeted dead appear;
the Master hangs upon the cross,
And all is dark and drear.
An inky blackness hides the moon;
The waves are tempest tossed;
The mystic cube sweats blood, alas!
The Mason's Word is lost.

'Tis Easter morn! All nature smiles,
The black-winged night has fled.
The Master of All Wisdom has
Arisen from the dead!
Resplendent shines the mystic cube;
The silver trumpets sound.
Wide open are the temple gates,
The Master's Word is found.

page 78

Live On! O Masonry, Live On!

by Bro. Lawrence N. Greenleaf

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 79

A Mason's Prayer

by Bro. James Perkins Richardson
(from The New Age Magazine, July, 1920)

Almighty Force, that makes the day
And gives the stars their course,
That started life from lifeless clay
To Thee, Almighty Force,
We offer homage, as we should,
Convinced Thy might is for man's good.

Eternal Law, that rules the sphere,
And makes each atom draw
Each other atom, far and near
To Thee, Eternal Law,
We speak obedience, as we must,
Assured Thy dictates all are just.

Unchanging Truth, that fearest naught,
Though oft by minds uncouth
Misunderstood, and then mistaught
To Thee, Unchanging Truth,
We bow the mind instead of knee,
Believing Thou dost make man free.

Fraternal Love, that fills the world,
Whose banner floats above
All lands, all peoples, broad unfurled
To Thee, Fraternal Love,
We pledge the heart and give the hand,
Proclaiming that with Thee we stand.

Almighty Force, strong evermore;
Eternal Law, true still today;
Unchanging Truth, tried o'er and o'er;
Fraternal Love, then, now, alway;
Omniscient Soul, supreme, divine,
These attributes we hail as Thine.

page 80

Craftsman of Nazareth

(A Christmas Morning Reverie)

by Bro. Robert I. Clegg
(from Palestine Bulletin, Detroit, Mich., April, 1914)

Beside the bench He stood with square in hand,
Around His feet the clinging shavings twined,
Odorous woods sent forth their sweet perfume,
Thoughts sadly pensive weighed down the mind.

There stood the Master Workman, skilled of hand,
While sunlight streamed in at the door,
Its dancing beams lit all the flying dust
And threw quaint shadows on the wall and floor.

At last, with labor and with thought opprest,
The Craftsman straightens up His figure tall.
With outstretched arms, to sun He turns His breast,
His shadow marks a cross against the wall.

Our Knight's Great Light! Thy willing Templar sons
Patrol no more the roads of Palestine,
No longer theirs the implements of war,
But in their hands the tools of trade are seen.

Sometimes we weaken, as we stumble oft.
Eternal grinds the tedium of our days.
All that we see when sunshine brightly streams,
Is shadowed cross not splendor of its rays.

Grant us more light into our blinded eyes,
Above the shadows lift our errant gaze.
With holy fire touch our Templar throng,
And keep our feet within Thy narrow ways.

Oh, Prince of poverty, exceeding rich!
Today the conscience hears Thy clarion call,
This day we dedicate ourselves to Thee
Thou Servant of men, Thou Master of all.

page 81

Who Would Not Be A Mason

by Bro. Charles F. Forshaw, M.D.
(from Masonic Constellation, St.Louis, Mo., Nov., 1905)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 82

O, Mother Lodge, We've Wandered Far

by Bro. Lawrence N. Greenleaf
(from The Builder, )

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 84

Brother Robert Burns

"One Round, I Ask It With A Tear."

by Bro. John Campbell
(These verses were written for the 1923 celebration of Burns' birthday by his own Lodge St.James', Tarbolton, No. 135 the author being Bro Campbell, Secretary of the Lodge. They were printed in The Scottish Freemason.)

If ever was an "honored name,
To Masonry and Scotia dear,"
'Twas his, who gave our Lodge to fame,
And oft has worn the "jewel" here;
Then surely 'tis our duty here,
Whene'er his natal eve returns,
To pledge his memory "with a tear"
The memory of Brother Burns.

On Coila's plains he first drew breath,
'Twas Coila's maids he loved and sang;
He won the bard's immortal wreath,
Lone, wandering Coila's woods amang.
And Coila's sons shall honor now,
While forest waves or river mourns
The mighty Minstrel of the plow
Our gifted Mason, Brother Burns.

His songs are sung on Ganges' side,
Zambezi's banks his strains have heard,
Siberia's forests, wild and wide,
Have wondering known of Scotia's Bard.
The broad St. Lawrence hears his voice,
Where'er the Scottish wanderer turns
That name can make his heart rejoice
The deathless name of Brother Burns.

But here, within our native vale,
On every glen and flowery brae,
On classic Ayr and winding Fail
His fame had shed its brightest ray.
And here shall reign his glorious name,
Until the grave its dead dis-urns,
For every craftsman here can claim
A kindred name with Brother Burns.

Then, brethren of the Lodge St. James,
And sister Lodges gathered here,
One silent round his memory claims
The round requested "with a tear."
Then be upstanding to the call
Of him the Bard whom Scotia mourns
To pledge in solemn silence all
The memory of Brother Burns.

page 85

Closing Hymn

by Bro. Walter Wingham
(from The Masonic Constellation, St.Louis, Mo., May, 1911)

In chosen Israel's favoured land,
A famous temple once did stand,
To Thee, Great Architect Divine
Was raised that vast and holy shrine.

But Thou to us hast given a part,
To build a temple of the heart,
In which to walk with soul erect,
A monument of Thine elect.

Then strengthen our Masonic tie,
Teach us to live, teach us to die,
Enrich our cause with all that's good,
Cement with love our brotherhood.

And ere we close our Lodge this night,
We thank Thee, God of truth and light.
In all our hearts Thy work proclaim,
And praise and bless Thy Holy name.

page 86

Father's Lodge

by Douglas Malloch

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 87

Masonic Farewell

Burns

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page under the title, "Adieu, A Heart-Warm, Fond Adieu."


page 88

Working Tools

MacBride
(from The Builder, Feb., 1916)

Click on the title to view this poem on the author's page.


page 88

Ah, When Shall We Three

by John H. Sheppard, late of Boston, Mass.

Click on the title to view this poem.


Title Index

(in alphabetical order)

TitleAuthorPage
Abou Ben Adhem Hunt 1
Acrostic: Geometry Mitchell 43
Ah, When Shall We Three Sheppard 88
Ancient Masonic Song - 2
Apostrophic Ode Dorsey 54
Apprentice Degree - 12
Apron Looney 68
Apron Scott 30
Apron Symbolism McAulay 24
Auld Lodge Jack 41
Broken Ashlar Brandes 76
Brother Robert Burns Campbell 84
Builders Forshaw 13
Closing Hymn Wingham 85
Cornerstone McLauchlin 37
Cradle and The Charge Mitchell 34
Craftsman of Nazareth Clegg 80
Creed Grassman 72
Each In His Own Tongue Carruth 22
Each In His Own Tongue Fulkerson 23
Eastward Facing Gate Reedy 64
Ebony Staff Of Solomon Meredith 42
Entered The Light Sellery 71
Father's Lodge Malloch 86
Fellowcraft Degree - 12
Five Points Of Fellowship Morris 38
Five Points Symbolism McAulay 8
Fraternity Guyton 70
Freemason's March Birkhead 6
Goddess Of Masonry Forshaw 5
God's Freemasonry Haywood 18
Habitation Of The Grand Architect Gierlow 45
I Am! - 49
In Fellowship Boutelle 75
Initiation Of The Prince Of Wales Harvey 46
I Sat In Lodge With You Nesbit 10
Is It Masonry? Oliver 15
Knight Rose Croix Evans 77
Let There Be Light Webb 23
Let There Be Light Cummings 9
Let There Be Light Hempstead 70
Level And The Square Morris 26
Level And The Square Mitchell 28
Live on! O Masonry, Live On! Greenleaf 78
Lodge Room Over Simpkin's Store Greenleaf 32
Lodge Welcome To The Ladies Morris 36
A Mason Mason 72
Masonic Farewell Burns 87
Masonic Jewels Gibson 73
Masonic Light Reed 74
Masonic Ode [Faith Of Our Fathers] Faber 56
Masonic Ode Mitchell 3
Mason Lodge Goethe 48
Mason Marks anonymous 20
Mason's Greeting Barss 1
Mason's Holy House Pike 47
Mason's Pledge Morris 4
Mason's Prayer Richardson 79
Mason's Sacred Trust Folsom 61
Mason's Word Gibson 62
Masonry Cabell 34
Master Degree - 13
Mind Of God Morris 2
Model Mason Morris 7
Mother Lodge Kipling 50
My Ashlar Free 53
Mystic Art Bulwer-Lytton 55
Of Masonry: An Ode Bancks [or Banks] 59
Old Masonic Toast - 19
O, Mother Lodge, We've Wandered Far Greenleaf 82
On The Apron Burns 27
Orare, Laborare, Cantare Blackie 40
Original Hymn Robbins 76
Our Brethren At The Front - 57
Our Work Darnall 56
Palace Kipling 14
Pledged! Forshaw 60
Plumb McAulay 31
Presenting The Lambskin Apron Hempstead 69
Senior Warden Werge 66
Sonnet Claudy 62
Square McLauchlin 74
Square And Compass Slane 63
Temple Greenleaf 44
Three Great Lights - 29
To Stretch The Liberal Hand anonymous 67
Try The Square Barker 11
Tubal Cain Mackey 16
Unto The Least Of These Holmes 21
Voice Of America Bowman 65
We Are Two Brothers Haywood 35
Who Would Not Be A Mason Forshaw 81
Working Tools MacBride 88

List Of First Lines

In Page-Sequence Order

This list includes only those poems actually in this file;
it does not include those that are hyperlinked to other files.


List Of First Lines

In Alphabetical Order

This list includes only those poems actually in this file;
it does not include those that are hyperlinked to other files.


Author Index

(in alphabetical order)

Those titles that are hyperlinked are to poems in other files;
those titles that are not linked are actually in this file.

AuthorTitlePage
Bancks Of Masonry: An Ode 59
Barker Try The Square 11
Barss Mason's Greeting 1
Birkhead Freemason's March 6
Blackie Orare, Laborare, Cantare 40
Boutelle In Fellowship 75
Bowman Voice Of America 65
Brandes Broken Ashlar 76
Bulwer-Lytton Mystic Art 55
Burns On The Apron 27
Burns Masonic Farewell 87
Cabell Masonry 34
Campbell Brother Robert Burns 84
Carruth Each In His Own Tongue 22
Claudy Sonnet 62
Clegg Craftsman of Nazareth 80
Cummings Let There Be Light 9
Darnall Our Work 56
Dorsey Apostrophic Ode 54
Evans Knight Rose Croix 77
Faber Masonic Ode [Faith Of Our Fathers] 56
Folsom Mason's Sacred Trust 61
Forshaw Goddess Of Masonry 5
Forshaw Builders 13
Forshaw Pledged! 60
Forshaw Who Would Not Be A Mason 81
Free My Ashlar 53
Fulkerson Each In His Own Tongue 22
Gibson Mason's Word 62
Gibson Masonic Jewels 73
Gierlow Habitation Of The Grand Architect 45
Goethe Mason Lodge 48
Grassman Creed 72
Greenleaf Lodge Room Over Simpkin's Store 32
Greenleaf Temple 44
Greenleaf Live on! O Masonry, Live On! 78
Greenleaf O, Mother Lodge, We've Wandered Far 82
Guyton Fraternity 70
Harvey Initiation Of The Prince Of Wales 46
Haywood God's Freemasonry 18
Haywood We Are Two Brothers 35
Hempstead Presenting The Lambskin Apron 69
Hempstead Let There Be Light 70
Holmes Unto The Least Of These 21
Hunt Abou Ben Adhem 1
Jack Auld Lodge 41
Kipling Palace 14
Kipling Mother Lodge 50
Looney Apron 68
MacBride Working Tools 88
Mackey Tubal Cain 16
Mason A Mason 72
McAulay Five Points Symbolism 8
McAulay Apron Symbolism 24
McAulay Plumb 31
McLauchlin Cornerstone 37
McLauchlin Square 74
Malloch Father's Lodge 86
Meredith Ebony Staff Of Solomon 42
Mitchell, J.K. Masonic Ode 3
Mitchell, L.B. Level And The Square 28
Mitchell, L.B. Cradle and The Charge 34
Mitchell, L.B. Acrostic 43
Morris Mind Of God 2
Morris Mason's Pledge 4
Morris Model Mason 7
Morris Level And The Square 26
Morris Lodge Welcome To The Ladies 36
Morris Five Points Of Fellowship 38
Nesbit I Sat In Lodge With You 10
Oliver Is It Masonry? 15
Pike Mason's Holy House 47
Reed Masonic Light 74
Reedy Eastward Facing Gate 64
Richardson Mason's Prayer 79
Robbins Original Hymn 76
Scott Apron 30
Sellery Entered The Light 71
Sheppard Ah, When Shall We Three 88
Slane Square And Compass 63
Webb Let There Be Light 23
Werge Senior Warden 66
Wingham Closing Hymn 85
- Ancient Masonic Song 2
- Apprentice Degree 12
- Fellowcraft Degree 12
- Master Degree 13
- Old Masonic Toast 19
anonymous Mason Marks 20
- Three Great Lights 29
- I Am! 49
- Our Brethren At The Front 57
anonymous To Stretch The Liberal Hand 67

Index of Magazines Cited

TitlePublished at[*]Citations[*]
BrotherhoodNew York City3
The BuilderAnamosa, Iowa (National)17
The Detroit Masonic NewsDetroit, Mich.1
The Dundee AdvertiserDundee, Scotland1
The FreemasonLondon, England1
The Freemason's Chronicle-1
The Freemason's Repository-1
Masonic BulletinDes Moines, Iowa1
Masonic ConstellationSt. Louis, Mo.4
The Masonic Mirror-1
Masonic MonthlyPhiladelphia, Pa.1
Masonic SunToronto, Canada1
The Master Mason-1
Mystic Star-0 [*]
The New Age Magazine(Scottish Rite)3
Oriental Consistory Magazine(York Rite)2
Palestine BulletinDetroit, Mich.[*]1
The S.A. Masonic Journal[*]1
The Scottish FreemasonScotland1
The Square & CompassDenver, Colo.3
The Square & CompassesNew Orleans, La.1
The TrestleboardDetroit, Mich.1
Tyler-KeystoneAnn Arbor, Mich.11
The Virginia Masonic JournalRichmond, Va.3
The Voice of Masonry-1