NOTE -

 

This material was scanned from Rob Morris’ 1884 book of poetry. In the interest of “availability,” the material was scanned into both text-files and graphic images, page-by-page. The graphic images were imported into a Microsoft Word file, so that the original work could be read on a computer screen, or printed; as close to a perfect reproduction of the original, as could be reasonably expected. 

 

While it is academic that the ‘graphic’ format of ‘fixed’ poetry would ordinarily be adequate to any need, the modern world of computers seems to have a virtual mandate for the creation of text-files, to accommodate everything from easy ‘E-Mailing,’ to paraphrasing. The text-files also make “text-to-speech” conversion available, for visual impairments of all types, obviously including the blind. The text-file format additionally makes foreign language translation radically easier.

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY

 

 

BY

 

 

ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

MASONIC POET-LAUREATE

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



THE

POETRY OF FREEMASONRY

BY

ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

WRITER AND LECTURER ON FREEMASONRY FOR FORTY YEARS, AND BY  UNIVERSAL CONSENT

 

MASONIC POET-LAUREATE.

 

WITH PORTRAIT AND AN AUTHENTIC BIOGRAPHY WRITTEN BY

HIS SON ROB MORRIS.

 

Famque opus excgi, quod non Tovis ira nec ignis,

Nec poterot ferrum, nec edax obolere vetustas - OVID.

 

CHICAGO, NEW YORK, LONDON, BERLIN, PARIS.

THE WERNER COMPANY.

 

1895.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT,

BY ROBERT MORRIS, LL.D.

1884.

COPYRIGHT,

1895.

BY THE WERNER COMPANY,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

R.W. WILLIAM JAMES HUGHAN,

OF TORQUAY, ENGLAND,

AUTHOR OF VARIOUS WORKS ILLUSTRATING THE EARLY HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY IN

GREAT BRITAIN, PAST SENIOR GRAND DEACON OF THE

 

UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND, ETC., ETC.

 

 

WITH PROFOUND ADMIRATION FOR YOUR TALENT, INDUSTRY, AND AMIABLE

QUALITIES, AND THE MOST ARDENT GRATITUDE FOR YOUR PERSONAL KINDNESS, I DEDICATE TO YOU THIS

 

LAUREATE EDITION.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


INDUCTION.

 

INDEBTED as I am to a rare circle of intelligent friends for my title and my title page, and many of the prose thoughts interspersed through these pages, it is nevertheless thought best that I should write my own Preface and subscribe it with my own name. This counsel I the more readily accept, as it enables me to speak as if personally to the large number of Brethren, at whose request many of these pieces were composed. In former editions their names were attached respectively to the various odes and poems, but for good reasons they are omitted in this.

 

When in 1871, the disastrous fire in Chicago destroyed the plates of my Masonic Poems and many other works, I resolved never again to publish. The fire fiend had followed me so far and fast since 1837 that I felt too old and too indigent to challenge him further.

 

But the importunities of friends and the gentle yearnings of authorship were, after all, too much for me; and in 1875 I made a collection of some four hundred of my poetical productions, long and short, and gave them to the winds. They have been well received by the reading world, ten editions having been taken up, and an increasing demand appears now to exist. So I am induced to make one more contribution to Masonic literature (my last), in this large and tasty edition, and courteously commend the efforts of forty years to the patronage of the Masonic Craft.

 

Those who have honored my poems by perusal are aware that they were composed, for the most part, upon the wing. On horseback, on foot, in coach and in car, at wayside inns and on the sea, the genius of song has found me and inspired me in the modest way that appears in these pages.

 

Emphatically, my contributions to the poetry of Masonry are fugitive pieces. What I might have done could I have had leisure,—could I have found kind friends to give me the means of leisure for half a year,—will never be known. Years, verging upon threescore and ten, blunting eye and ear and dulling the sense deeper than both, warn me to be content that "what is writ is writ."

 

Twenty years since, before a brilliant assembly of Masons and their lady guests at Indianapolis, Indiana, I expressed, in effect, the following thoughts upon "The Poetry of Masonic Literature ":

 

vii.

 


INDUCTION.

 

If Masonic literature may justly be divided, like other branches of human knowledge, into departments, then we may style one of those divisions Poetry. The biographical, historical and ritualistic divisions, added to that which is termed belles-lettres, in which fiction is introduced by way of parable, make up the ordinary understanding of Masonic literature, to which I would add Poem' as the complement.

 

It is not too much to say that this branch of Masonic learning has been over-looked and neglected by Masonic writers. The Order has had among its votaries Walter Scott, Lamartine, Thomas Moore, William Cowper, James Hogg, Robert Burns, George D. Prentice, George P. Morris, Charles Mackay, James P. Percival, and many others of poetic fame,— men whose effusions will survive while sweet sentiments, wedded to melodious diction, have any value; but the united efforts of all these poets applied to Masonic themes scarcely fill a dozen pages. Burns wrote one Masonic ode, and rested. It is his "Adieu, a heart-warm, fond adieu" a piece so exquisitely affecting, so filled with Masonic imagery that we cannot read it without sensations of regret that he wrote no more. Scott, Hogg Moore, Mackay, none of them, so far as I know, ever contributed so much as a line to the poetry of Masonic literature.

 

George P. Morris composed at least one ode, "Man dieth and wasteth away," which is worthy the man and the theme. Giles F. Yates contributed a paraphrase of the 133d Psalm, which has gone into large use in our lodges, "Behold, how pleasant and how good." Thomas Smith Webb left one upon record, "All hail to the morning," abounding with poetic fire and Masonic imagery. David Vinton gave us "Solemn strikes the funeral chime," which has found extra-ordinary favor as a funeral hymn. With this our stock of Masonic poetry is exhausted. Not but that there is much jingle, mixed with stanzas of merit scattered through the pages of our books and periodicals, but they are not such as will be selected by future writers to exemplify this Masonic age.

 

And why is this? Does not the subject of Freemasonry suggest to the poetic mind a flight skyward? If religion, and especially that derived from the contemplation of the Holy Scriptures, constitutes so favorable a theme for poets because of its extraordinary array of imagery,— types, symbols, emblems and what not,—does not Freemasonry abound even more in such things? In fact, Freemasonry is composed of allegory, types, imagery, etc.; it is in itself a true "chamber of imagery." The very nature and purpose of the Order is to teach one thing by means of another,—to suggest an inward truth by an outward emblem. Yet the great writers whose names are given above seem never to have recognized this.

 

Robert Burns found in the murmur of a brook and the warbling of a bird the

 

viii.

 


INDUCTION.

 

voice of his mistress. Walter Scott saw through the outlines of a rusty lance-head or broken pair of spurs the imagery of a well foughten field. Thomas Moore drew from the twang of a ricketty lute wails of lamentation for the decadence of his green old Ireland. All this is in the nature of suggestion, the very essence of poetry. Yet these men could look coldly upon the most pregnant images of Freemasonry, the G, the Broken Column, the Mystic Pillars, and a score of others; they could listen to a rehearsal of the Masonic covenants with-out once considering the inexhaustible mine of poetic thought of which these were only the surface.

 

As compared with any other theme, I would give the preference to Symbolical Masonry as the richest in poetic thought, and I can only hope that the clay is not distant when a great poet will arise who will be to Freemasonry what Scott was to chivalry, Moore to patriotism, Burns to rustic love.

 

My attention was early turned, as a Masonic student, to the department of poetry, and whatever grade of merit may be attached to my own effusions, I may justly claim to have searched with assiduity the gems of poetic thought buried in the mines of Masonic literature, and brought them to the public eye.

 

For convenience of use I have arranged the pieces into divisions, as Templary, Symbolical Masonry, etc.; but the distinctions are not particularly obvious, for the aims and teachings of the Masonic Order are the same, whether enforced by the Gavel, the Scepter, or the Sword; whether embodied in emblems of Christ, Zerubbabel or Solomon. In the present edition I have omitted all my odes and poems not Masonic, and supplied their places with a number of productions, notably "The Utterances of the Sword," composed since the edition of 1878 was published.

 

As to the spirit in which these pieces were composed, I quote from a communication sent ten years since to Hon. James M. Howry (deceased 1884), who was my Masonic instructor forty years since: "I became early fascinated with the wonderful machinery of Freemasonry, and what I felt I spoke and wrote. I could no more check my thoughts than the tempest can silence the sounds it makes. Freemasonry appeared to me such a field for the reformer. Here was a body of selected men, united by indissoluble covenants, working out a few grand, simple principles of architecture, and having celestial wages in view! Was not this a perfect theory? I wrote because my heart burned within me, and silence seemed impossible. I found that the effect of Masonry properly appreciated was to render men lovely to their fellows, pleasing to their God. In my poems I said as much, and said it in the most forcible, the most tuneful words at my command. I have visited more than one lodge where learning, religion, the useful

 

ix.

 


INDUCTION.

 

and liberal arts, law, polished manners, all that marks and embellishes the best society, and man as a constituent in the best society, is found, and of such I endeavored to be the reporter, that by their life I might aid in vitalizing other lodges that `Lie in dead oblivion, losing half The fleeting moments of too short a life.'" But my preface is becoming verbose, and I will close. To the present generation I pray to commend the thoughts which pleased their fathers.

                                                                                                ROB MORRIS.

 

                        LA GRANGE, KENTUCKY, December, 1884.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x.


THE LEVEL AND THE SQUARE.

 

WE MEET UPON THE LEVEL, AND WE PART UPON THE SQUARE,—

What words of precious meaning those words Masonic are!

Come, let us contemplate them; they are worthy of a thought,—

With the highest and the lowest and the rarest they are fraught.

 

We meet upon the level, though from every station come—

The King from out his palace and the poor man from his home;

For the one must leave his diadem without the Mason's door,

And the other finds his true respect upon the checkered floor.

 

We part upon the square, for the world must have its due;

We mingle with its multitude, a cold, unfriendly crew;

But the influence of our gatherings in memory is green,

And we long, upon the level, to renew the happy scene.

 

There's a world where all are equal,— we are hurrying toward it fast,—

We shall meet upon the level there when the gates of death are past;

We shall stand before the Orient, and our Master will be there,

To try the blocks we offer by His own unerring square.

 

We shall meet upon the level there, but never thence depart;

There's a Mansion,—'tis all ready for each zealous, faithful heart;

There's a Mansion and a welcome, and a multitude is there,

Who have met upon the level and been tried upon the square.

 

Let us meet upon the level, then, while laboring patient here,—

Let us meet and let us labor, tho' the labor seem severe.

Already in the western sky the signs bid us prepare

To gather up our working tools and part upon the square! 

Hands round, ye faithful Ghiblimites, the bright, fraternal chain;

We part upon the square below to meet in Heaven again.

O what words of precious meaning those words Masonic are,—

WE MEET UPON THE LEVEL, AND WE PART UPON THE SQUARE.

 

The above is the original form in which the poem, "We Meet upon the Level," etc., was written. Its history, as often told, is simple enough, and has none of the elements of romance. In August, 1894, as the author was walking home from a neighbor's, through the sultry afternoon, he sat upon a fallen tree, and upon the back of a letter dashed off, under a momentary impulse and in stenographic character, the lines upon this page.

 

Eighteen years since, Brother George Oliver, D.D., eminent above all others in English Masonry, and the Masonic historian for all time, said of the poem: "Brother Morris has composed many fervent, eloquent and highly poetic compositions, songs that will not die, but in The Level and the Square' he has breathed out a depth of feeling, fervency and pathos, with brilliancy and vigor of language, and expressed due faith in the immortal life beyond the grave."

 

 

 

xi.

 


THE LEVEL, PLUMB AND SQUARE.

 

We meet upon the LEVEL, and we part upon the SQUARE:

What words sublimely beautiful those words Masonic are!

They fall like strains of melody upon the listening ears,

As they've sounded hallelujahs to the world, three thousand years.

 

We meet upon the LEVEL, though from every station brought,

The Monarch from his palace and the Laborer from his cot;

For the lizrrg must drop his dignity when knocking at our door

And the Laborer is his equal as he walks the checkered floor.

 

We act upon the PLUMB,—'tis our MASTER'S great command,

We stand upright in virtue's way and lean to neither hand;

The ALL-SEEING EYE that reads the heart will bear us witness true,

That we do always honor God and give each man his due.

 

We part upon the SQUARE,—for the world must have its due,

We mingle in the ranks of men, but keep The Secret true,

And the influence of our gatherings in memory is green,

And we long, upon the LEVEL, to renew the happy scene.

 

There's a world where all are equal,—we are hurrying toward it fast,

We shall meet upon the LEVEL there when the gates of death are past;

We shall stand before the Orient and our Master will be there,

Our works to try, our lives to prove by His unerring SQUARE-

We shall meet upon the LEVEL there, but never thence depart.

 

There's a mansion bright and glorious, set for the pure in heart;

And an everlasting welcome from the Host rejoicing there,

Who in this world of sloth and sin, did part upon the SQUARE.

 

Let us meet upon the LEVEL, then, while laboring patient here,

Let us meet and let us labor, tho' the labor be severe;

Already in the Western Sky the signs bid us prepare,

To gather up our Working Tools and part upon the SQUARE.

 

Hands round, ye royal craftsmen in the bright, fraternal chain!

We part upon the SQUARE below to meet in Heaven again;

Each tie that has been broken here shall be cemented there,

And none be lost around the Throne who parted on the SQUARE.

 

 

 

 

 

This poem has been subjected to so many alterations in its thirty years of active use that it is deemed proper to give it here with the last emendations. It is likely that older readers will prefer it in its first draft. (1885)

 

 

 

xii.


BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

MASONIC POET LAUREATE.

 

[From official data furnished by his son, Robert Morris, Jr., of Franklin, Ky.]

 

"THE MASONIC DICKENS OF AMERICA." – ALLIBON’S DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN AUTHORS.

 

DR. ROB MORRIS was born August 31, 1818, near Boston, Mass. His parents were teachers, and he, following in their footsteps, taught school the first ten years of his manly estate. He then wandered, like many others, from the New England shores to the cotton fields of the South, and settled down to teach at Oxford, Miss. There he met Miss Charlotte Mendenhall, whose parents resided near that place, and they were married August 26, 1841. About thirty-seven years ago Dr. Morris removed to La Grange, Ky., where he passed his remaining years until his death in 1888.

 

Through the means of the great amount of labor done by him, and the excellence, and, it might be called, genius of that work, or a great portion of it, Dr. Morris' name became more familiar throughout the Masonic fraternity through distant parts of this country, and the world, than it was to those outside of that order who lived within five miles of his home. His publications, numbering seventy-three works, his contributions to and in connection with the Masonic, the religious, the sectarian and the scientific press, which extended through half a century; his unparalleled industry as a lecturer upon many themes, all unite in surrounding his name with a halo of public respect.

 

He was a very large contributor to many Masonic periodicals, and various news-papers and magazines. Throughout all the world the name of the Poet Laureate of Masonry is known and loved next to the ancient order itself.

 

Dr. Morris' chief fame came to him through his poems. They are of a very high order, and are recognized as being the productions of a healthy brain, an erudite conception, a grand appreciation of the good, and a beauteous imagination. It was a circumstance commented upon in one of Dr. Morris' lectures that while there was

 

XIII


XIV                                          BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

I an abundance of poets who belonged to the Masonic ranks, notably Thomas Moore, Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg, Ferguson, George P. Morris, Percival, Robert Burns, Duganne, Shilliber, Lamartine, Cowper and others, yet altogether they have scarcely written a score of Masonic poems. Percival and George P. Morris wrote two or three each, Robert Burns one, the greatest of them all, except Rob Morris' poems, while all the others named wrote none.

 

Robert Burns, over one hundred years ago, was crowned with the laurel wreath, which signified his elevation to the station of Poet Laureate of Freemasonry. This was for one poem he wrote, and he was the first to be so crowned. Upon his death no one was ever deemed fit to assume the high station until Rob Morris was so selected through the expressed wish of over 500,000 Masons throughout all the world.

 

The coronation took place in New York City, on December 17, 1884, in the presence of several thousand Masons who attended, many of them from distant points of the compass, to merely witness the one event. It was in a double sense the crowning point of a wondrous life.

 

It was the prediction of the venerable and learned Salem Town, LL.D., himself a Mason of great prominence, and an expounder of its grandest themes, that "Brother Morris' fame as a poet will outlast his memory as a writer in prose." Out of more than three hundred pieces that make up his poetical collections, there are many of rarest delicacy and beauty. His poetical labors extended over every class of thought proper to the theme. Very many were written to be accompanied by music, and so have entered into Festival, Funeral and Work meetings; some to be recited with emblematic accompaniments. The greater portion were composed "upon the wing" in stage coach, railway carriage, on steamboats, on horseback, and at Low XII hours after lodge-meetings.

 

It would seem that no man could perform the amount of labor accomplished by Rob Morris, unless he preserved all his faculties intact and attained nearly the number of years of life allotted to Methuselah. Yet that work was all done, unassisted, by Rob Morris, and the spring of inspiration which promoted it lay in the one source, "ambition." When this ambition was gratified with his coronation as Poet Laureate he ceased his labors and dwelt nearly four years in the quiet lull before death came to claim him for its own. In speaking of him a number of Masons, among the most eminent in the land, said that he was not only the greatest Masonic poet and prose-writer, but he was the greatest Mason that had ever lived.

 

In fact, there have been few men who ever lived who have done more work with the pen for publication than Rob Morris. There has certainly been no writer of Masonic literature at any time in the world's history who has written half as much as he either of poetry or prose. The work he has done would seem too stupendous for any one man to perform in a lifetime, yet he has done it, and well. He has not only written all these works, songs, hymns, poems, addresses and essays, but furthermore he has done such other minor literary work as would require a couple of columns additional merely to enumerate.

 

 


BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.                                          XV

 

It is of course chiefly as a writer that Dr. Morris is known to the Masonic world. He was not only the universally accepted Poet Laureate of Masonry, but in addition to this his prose works are of the first rank in Masonic literature. He wrote extensively on the subject of Masonic jurisprudence, produced several rituals and hand-books, many fugitive pieces, edited some Masonic journals, and published an important book of travel and research, "Free Masonry in the Holy Land," which appeared in 1872, The Masons of this country raised between $9,000 and $10,000 as a fund to enable Dr. Morris to make his journey to the original seat of Masonry. He went to the Orient in 1868, and traveled very extensively there and in Europe, His researches confirmed many traditions as to Masonry, and enabled the author to contribute much valuable evidence as to the truth of what was before then little more than conjecture. Being learned in Masonic lore, the inscriptions, coins and customs of the people among whom he journeyed often had a meaning for him which was not apparent to others. His trip to the Holy Land discovered abundant testimony as to the great age of Masonry. His book is dedicated to His Excellency Mohammed Raschid, Governor-General of Syria and Palestine, who was an eminent Mason, A profound admiration for the Bible, as the only inspired book in Masonry, led Dr. Morris early in his career to propose an exploration of the lands of the Bible in the interests of the order. In 1854 the grand lodge of Kentucky entered into the plan, and proffered a loan sufficient for the cost, but circumstances at that time for-bade the journey. It was still, however, a favorite theme in his lectures and writings, and in 1867 he visited one hundred and thirty lodges, chiefly in the northern states, and proposed to them that he would donate the necessary time and labor if they would undertake the cost. The response was a practical one, for 3,782 brethren clubbed together to supply the necessary means.

 

He set out February 2, 1868; addressed the lodges at Smyrna, upon the way, on February 25, and reached Bey-rout, Syria, March 3. At Damascus, through the influence of Brother E. T. Rodgers, H. B. M. Consul there (and master at the time of Lebanon lodge, at Beyrout), he made the Masonic acquaintance of the governor-general and of General Abdel Kader. He delivered addresses before the members of the Masonic fraternity in Damascus, Beyrout, Joppa and Jerusalem. In the latter city he opened a Lodge of Instruction, May 13, which, five years afterward, culminated in the Royal Solomon Mother Lodge, No. 293, upon the Canada Register of which he was first Master. He reached home early in August, The results of his industrious researches are seen in the large volume entitled " Freemasonry in Holy Land." At Jerusalem he made the personal acquaintance of that learned and zealous explorer, Captain Warren, himself a member of the Masonic brotherhood.

 

This oriental lodge has maintained a distinct and honorable existence, and has become the mother of a group of lodges in Palestine and the center of a grand lodge in Jerusalem. Dr. Morris made a second visit to Europe in 1878, at which time he was especially noticed by the Prince of Wales, who, being a Mason, departed from his habit of non-attendance so far as to attend lodge in London, and


XVI                                          BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

then to follow him to Oxford to attend lodge there, while Dr. Morris was at those places lecturing.

 

Dr. Morris was "brought to Masonic light," as the phrase is, in Oxford, Miss., March 5, 1846, when he joined Gathright Lodge, No. 33. At that time he was principal of the Mount Sylvan Academy, near Oxford. He at once became deeply interested in the subject of Masonry, and his progress thereafter was notable.

 

He was exalted to the degree of Royal Arch in Lexington, Miss., in 1848; accepted as R. and S. M. in 1849; made a Knight Templar at Jackson, Miss., in 1850, and received the Scottish Rite degrees to the Thirty-second degree in 1854. He received the Rite of Memphis, so far as the Ninetieth degree, in New York in 1864, and the encampment order of English Templary in Canada in 1857. He also received a very large number of the honorary appendages to Masonry, such as the three official orders of Royal Arch Masonry, Past Eminent Commander, Past Grand Commander, Grand High Priest, Past Grand Commander-in-Chief 32°. The Masonic and Military Orders of the Knights of Rome, and the Red Cross of Constantine, were communicated to him in 1857, and' afterwards in 1873.

 

The Order of Past Grand Master was given him at his installation as Grand Master of Kentucky, in 1858, the I-Ion. Henry Wingate, Past Grand Master, pre-siding. Among his honorary degrees and complimentary memberships, which were nearly one hundred and fifty in number, that of Past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada was chiefly prized.

 

Dr. Morris was a member of Fortitude Lodge, No. 47, at La Grange, Ky., and of the Eminence Royal Arch Chapter. He was also a member of the Louisville Commandery, No. 1, Knights Templar, and was Past Grand Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Consistory of hentucky, 32°.

 

He was the originator of a large number of special features, among them the most superior degrees of "Ladies' Masonry." The most popular of these with the order are "The Eastern Star," composed and communicated by him in 185o. This degree is divided into five sections, named from as many historical characters, namely: "Jephthan's Daughter," "Ruth," "Esther," "Martha" and "Electa." So popular has this degree become that there are now hundreds of organizations styled "Chapters of the Eastern Star." These societies extend throughout the entire world. In addition to this degree Dr. Morris also added "The Queen of the South," "The Cross and Crown," etc.

 

Of Masonic rituals and hand-books, the following is a list of his works: " Free Masons' Monitor," twelve degrees; "Miniature Monitor," three degrees; "Eastern Star Manual," "Rosary of Eastern Star," "Guide to High Priesthood," "Special Help for Worshipful Master," same for Senior Deacon, same for the Secretary, "Funeral Book of Freemasons," "Prudence Book of Freemasons," " Masonic Ladder," "Dictionary of Freemasonry," "Guide to the Consecration of Masonic Cemeteries," " Discipline of Masonic Offenders." He was the first writer, according to very high authority, in Masonic belles-lettres, his "Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry" being the pioneer work in that line.

 

 


BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.                                          XVII

 

Of all these and others, it may truthfully be said, as Lyttleton, in his eulogy of Cowper:

 

"Not one immoral, one corrupted thought,

One line which, dying, he would wish to blot."

 

His rule of life, from the commencement of labor as a Masonic journalist, was borrowed from Addison: "I promise never to draw a faulty character, which does not fit at least a thousand people, or to publish a single paper that is not written in the spirit of benevolence, and with a love of mankind." By many Dr. Morris was considered the leading numismatist in America. In the science of historical numismatics in America he was one of the pioneers, his monograph, entitled "The Twelve Cæsars, illustrated by Readings of 217 of Their Coins and Medals," being the first issue of its class west of the Atlantic. He also published the "Numismatic Pilot," devoted to the explanation of ancient coins. He was Secretary of the American Association of Numismatists; honorary member of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society, of Montreal, Canada; also of the Boston Numismatic Society and the New London, Conn., Historical Society, and an active member of the American Numismatic and Archeological Society, of New York.

 

Rob Morris gave us altogether, as from a perennial fountain, more than three hundred effusions in form of odes and poems; but none wear so well with old admirers, none secure so speedily the favor of the newly-initiate, as his conception of August, 1854, which has "gone out through all; the earth" under the name of "The Level and the Square." It is the Masonic song of the age, tending to the' immortal. Brother George Oliver, D.D., eminent above all others in English Masonry, and the Masonic writer for all time, said of this piece: "Brother Morris has composed many fervent, eloquent and highly-poetic compositions—songs that will not die,—but in 'The Level and the Square' he has breathed out his depths of feeling, fervency and pathos with brilliancy and vigor of language, and expressed his faith in the immortal life beyond the grave." Periodically published in Masonic journals, quoted in a thousand orations, seen in fragments in innumerable epitaphs, musically wedded to sixteen airs, declaimed by traveling performers, and embodied in many " Gems of Reading," this effusion deserves best of all to live in his memory as one of his grandest efforts.

 

Of Masonic belles-lettres, he wrote "Life in the Triangle," 1853; "The Two St. Johns," 1854; "Tales of Masonic Life," 1860; "Lodge at Mystic," 1863; and "Masonic Poems," 1864 and 1876. In Masonic history and biography he wrote "Freemasons' Almanacs," 1860–'61–'62–'63–'64; "Masonic Reminiscenses," 1857; "History of Freemasonry in Kentucky," 1859; "Life of Eli Bruce," 1859; "Free-masonry in the Holy Land," 1872. He also published in thirty octavo volumes, under the general title of "Universal Masonic Library," fifty-six distinct works, including writings of Oliver, Mackey, Town, Portal, Preston, Hutchinson, George Smith, Morris, Anderson, Harris, Calcott, Ashe, Lawrie, De Vertot, Gourdin, Taylor, Creigh, Brown, Morton, Arnold and Towne. In addition to these, he published the


XVIII                                        BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

"American Freemason," 1853—'58; "Voice of Masonry," 1859—'67; "Light in Masonry," 1873, and "Kentucky Freemason," 1853.

 

In addition to these he has given to the Sunday-school literature of the world scores of odes, sketches, addresses and songs. In 1884 he published a new edition of his poems entitled the "Poetry of Freemasonry," which was a compilation of his best poetry. He also wrote a series of sketches for the "Courier-Journal," entitled "Jesters with Whom I have Jested," published in 1886. One of his most famous songs was called "Blind Bartemus."

 

The beginning of official work of this zealous veteran was that of Grand Lecturer, first in the state of Tennessee; afterwards in Kentucky. On horseback, before the days of railways, he visited the lodges of those jurisdictions to the number of a hundred or more, and communicated to them rituals and general instructions in Masonry. The originality and thoroughness of his teachings are best described by a gentleman who accompanied him for a week or more in the spring of 1851:

 

"Brother M.'s marked trait was industry. He made little pretension to genius or talent of high order, but he always made the best use of his time. I never saw him idle for a moment. In the lodge or out of it he was ever seeking or communicating Masonic light. He visited sick brethren, if there were any, at their houses, and imparted comfort. He inquired for destitute brethren and tendered them aid. He looked up the graves of departed Masons and suggested better care of them. He set the secretary to making a list of the widows and orphans of the craft, that if any were needy they might not be overlooked by the brotherhood in future. His appearance in those days was very peculiar. Lank as a rattlesnake, and as swift at a witty stroke; nervous to the last degree; frightfully dyspeptic; extremely fond of nature, and an idefatigable collector of shells, arrow-heads and eccentric stones; a glutton for reading books; fluent as the river and generous as the sea; speaking in all things from the heart; amiable and generous."

 

In Dr. Morris' lodge lectures a beauty, grandeur and significance were apparent that impressed even the doltish mind. At that period American lodges were at a low ebb of information. The ceremonials were often wretchedly burlesqued by ignorant pretenders, and Rob Morris came among them as a reformer. Instead of an unmeaning tragedy the craft acquired a sublime symbol, and if the neophyte had a soul at all able to appreciate a grand thought, he received a permanent impression. On Sabbath days Dr. Morris addressed communities, wherever he might be, in their churches and school-houses, upon Freemasonry as identified with Bible truth. Once, at least, in every village, he invited a union of the ladies with their husbands, fathers and brothers in the lodge-room, and to the united assembly gave his beautiful system entitled The Eastern Star. Though the country was wild with political and sectarian strife (the mutterings of civil war) he talked of nothing but Freemasonry, and for all this service he accepted a compensation so meagre that the poorest lawyer or physician that sat in any of his audiences would have spurned it.

 

The system of itinerant lecturing upon Freemasonry, begun by Dr. Morris, has been continued to the present. The venerable Mentor of Masonry raised his voice in defense of the order and its covenants in the lodges of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa,


BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.                                          XIX

 

Wisconsin, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Connecticut and New York, and other states. He once estimated that in thirty-two years of such travel and travail he climbed the stairs and entered the adyta of fifteen hundred lodges!

 

The growth of skepticism among American Masons has been too marked to escape the notice of any. Leading men among the craft have at one time and another publicly attacked the old principle of "faith in an inspired word as a fundamental belief in Masonry." To counteract this, the most dangerous foe that Masonry can have, Dr. Morris early made himself the champion of Biblical faith. To unsettle the minds of the craft as to the object their fathers venerated has been the first aim of the Masonic skeptic, and we see that while casting the Holy Scriptures out of the lodge-room was the first step of the French infidel, ignoring faith in God was the second and an easier step. Dr. Morris said in an oration in 1853: "I repeat, with the great moralist Johnson, that there is no crime so great that a man can commit as poisoning the sources of eternal (Masonic) truth. Faith in God tends, in the only high and noble sense, to make Freemasons one."

 

So many of Dr. Morris' diplomas and official jewels were destroyed in the burning of his house, "The Three Cedars," at LaGrange, Ky., November, 1861, and in the terrible conflagration of Chicago, October, 1871, that no accurate list can now be given of them. It is within bounds, however, to assert that the number of honorary degrees and complimentary memberships with which his signal services were recognized in America and abroad exceeds one hundred. Dr. Morris at one time recalled a list of one hundred and forty-three regular degrees and orders in Masonry, whose covenants he has assumed. In 1856 he made this summary of them in a symbolical strain of thought:

 

"I have been around, under and through the temple of Masonry, searching out its foundations, its builders and its trestle board. With its builders I have handled, in turn, each of its implements; with the Entered Apprentice, trimming the rough ashler on the checkered pavement; with the Fellow Craft, moralizing upon the pillars of the porch, and the fifteen grades of the winding stairs; with the Master Mason, smoothing the indissoluble cement with silent awe; with the Mark Master I have penetrated the quarries, found my own best block, brought it up for a place in the walls, and claimed my penny with the rest; for I never have received, of salary or official emolument, to the value of one Jewish half shekel of silver. I have shared the responsibilities of the Past Master, seated in the Oriental Chair of King Solomon. As a Most Excellent Master, my hands have aided to rear the cap-stone to its place, while my lips have sung the triumphant strain, All Hail to the Morning, of Thomas Smith Webb, and my face was bowed to the pavement in acknowledgment of the descent of fire and cloud. As a Royal Arch Mason, returning from exile in Babylon, my feet have wandered, weary and sore, over rough and rugged ways, seeking the Sacred Hill. As a Select Master, I have wrought in silence, secrecy and darkness, upon the mystic arches within the Holy Mountain. I have stood as a Knight Templar with companions loyal and brave, wielding my brand, excalibur, two-edged and cross-hilted, while guarding the SHRINE where the body of MY


XX                                           BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

DEPARTED LORD was laid. In all my career as a Mason I have ever held that excellence is granted to man only in return for labor, and that nothing is worth having that is not difficult to acquire. My life has been, thus far, a contest with obstacles; but no man would be what he is, had he tamely suffered the difficulties of life to overcome him." It has been claimed that Dr. Morris was the first to ever write a book upon the subject of Masonic Jurisprudence. The work upon that subject was published in 1855 and was entitled the "Code of Masonic Law." Doubtless there has been too much legislation among American Grand Lodges, too much of the whimsical, special and ephemeral, yet he conceived that there is a basis of legal principles to which all questions may be referred, and this is what he undertook to point out in his "Code of Masonic Law." All thoughtful Masons admit that  

 

"Law should speak

Seldom, and never but as wisdom prompts,

And equity."

 

The spirit of his writings upon jurisprudence is suggested by Hooker:

 

"It is easier a great deal for men to be taught by laws what they ought to do, than intrusted to judge as they should, of law: for the wisest are ready to acknowledge that soundly to judge of law is the weightiest thing a man can take upon him."

 

In his contributions to the periodical literature of Masonry since 185o will be found replies to questions upon Masonic law and usage, and dissertations upon special subjects of this class. His studies in this branch gave him the facility seen in the various Constitutions drafted for Grand Bodies, Standard Forms of By-Laws, and in the Handbooks issued in great numbers for use in the workings of Masonry.

 

The custom of giving honors to our Masonic dead has become so intimately incorporated into our American Masonry that many continue their attachment to the order "even down to old age," that so they may not forfeit the funeral honors due the faithful departed. On the other hand, it is an attraction to a certain class of minds to unite themselves with a fraternity which follows its members lovingly to the grave's brink and lays them gently back upon the bosom of mother earth. In honoring this custom the practice of Dr. Morris was supplemented by his writings. His "Funeral Book of the Freemasons," a work of widespread celebrity, contains, in addition to copious and easy instructions, a long catalogue of epitaphs and forms of obituary notices, also of funeral songs suitable to such occasions; while no one was so often called upon to attend in person and preside over such ceremonials.

 

This passage was first published by Dr. Morris in 1852, and expresses his views upon the subject with much vigor:

 

"In all ages the bodies of the Masonic dead have been laid in graves dug due east and west, with their faces looking toward the east. This practice has been borrowed from us, and adopted by others, until it has become nearly universal. It implies that when the great day shall come, and He who is death's conqueror shall give the signal, His ineffable light shall first be seen in the east; that from the east He


BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.                                          XXI

 

will make His glorious approach; will stand at the eastern margin of these graves, and with His mighty power—that grasp irresistibly strong which shall prevail—will raise the bodies which are slumbering therein. We shall have been long buried, long decayed. Friends, relatives, yea, our nearest and dearest, will cease to remember where they have laid us. The broad earth will have undergone wondrous changes, mountains levelled, valleys filled. The seasons will have chased each other in many a fruitful round. Oceans lashed into fury by the gales of to-day will to-morrow have sunk like a spoiled child to their slumber. Broad trees with broader roots will have interlocked them, hard and knobbed as they are, above our ashes, as if to conceal the very fact of our having lived; and then, after centuries of life, they, too, will have followed our example of mortality, and, long struggling with decay, at last will have toppled down to join their remains with ours, thus obliterating the last poor testimony that man has ever lain here. So shall we be lost to human sight. But the eye of God, nevertheless, will mark the spot, green with the everlasting verdure of faith; and when the trumpet's blast shall shake the hills to their very bases, our astonished bodies will raise, impelled upward by an irresistible impulse, and we shall stand face to face with our Redeemer."

 

Dr. Rob Morris closed his earthly career at La Grange, Ky., on July 31, 1888. He had been in bad health for a year or more, but was not seriously ill until about six weeks before his death, when he was stricken with paralysis, and after that time he steadily declined. For twenty-four hours preceding his death he was unconscious. His immediate family of six children and their mother were present during his last moments.

 

The surviving children were: John A. Morris; Charlotte F., married to Hon. H. J. Goodrich; Dr. Alfred W. Morris, Robert Morris, Jr., Sarah M., married to Latimer Hitt; and Ruth E., married to John Mount.

 

The Grand Master of Kentucky, upon receipt of the intelligence of the death of Dr. Morris, at once caused the issuance of the following circular letter: 

 

GRAND LODGE OF KENTUCKY, F. AND A. M.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky., July 31, 1388.

 

To the Free and Accepted Masons of Kentucky:

 

It becomes my painful duty to announce to you the death of our venerable and learned brother, P\G\M\Rob Morris, which occurred at his home in La Grange, on the 31st day of July, 1888, after an illness of short duration, following years of ill health.

 

The fame of our eminent brother was not confined to our continent—he was a citizen of two hemispheres; for his learning and zeal made him known to Masons everywhere as a chieftain among the clans, a master builder among the workmen. His mark is upon the most beautiful stones of our Masonic edifice, and his designs remain upon our trestle board, for he both conceived and executed.

 

It is my order that this announcement be read in every lodge at its next regular meeting, that proper respect may be shown to the memory of our deceased brother until the Grand Lodge of Kentucky can, in ample form, testify its appreciation of his many excellencies.

 

J. SOULE SMITH,

Grand Master.

H. B. GRANT,           

Grand Secretary.


XXII                                         BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

The funeral ceremonies took place at La Grange, which had been his home for over thirty years, and were conducted by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Past Grand Master Hiram Bassett, an old and zealous Mason, and an intimate friend of Dr. Morris, acting as Grand Master.

 

A special train carried the brethren of Louisville up to La Grange on August 1st, the day of the funeral.

 

The Knight Templars were under command of E\Sirs F. H, Johnson and John A. Stratton. The procession was in charge of Col. John B. Castleman, K. T., assisted by Capt. John H. Leathers, Grand Treasurer; Bro. W. H. Shaw.

 

The following officers officiated: P\G\M\Hiram Bassett, as Master, representing also the Grand Master.

 

Bro. J. R. Adams, Master of Fortitude Lodge, assisted Bro. Bassett as Deputy; Bro. L. M. LaRue, Senior Warden; Bro. H. R. Coleman (Grand Chaplain) as Chap-lain; D. T. Carson, Junior Warden; William Manby, Secretary; J. W. Russell, Treasurer; R. D. Cassiday, Senior Deacon; Henry Egert, Junior Deacon, and J. T. Davidson (Grand Tyler) as Tyler. Bro. M. Cary Peter, Grand Junior Deacon, was present, but his jewel was worn by Bro. Kinkead, W. M. of Lodge 376.

 

At the residence a number of Pilgrim Knights (of the Palm and Shell—organized by Bro. Morris) performed the mystic ceremonies of that order about the remains. These were Bros. H. R. Coleman, Hiram Bassett, H. B. Grant, J. H. Leathers, Chas. Sauer, J. M. Hall, J. W. Hopper, W. H. Shaw, W. E. Woodruff, Wm. Moses and Alex. Evans.

 

A Guard of Honor, consisting of Past Commanders, viz.: E\Sir Knights C. E. Dunn, C. L. Martin, C. C. W. Alfriend and Thos. H. Sherley (P. G. C.), of Louisville Commandery, No. 1; A. H. Gardner, Chas. C. Vogt, H. R. Mitchell and John Finzer, of DeMolay, conveyed the casket to the church, where a male choir, led by Bro. Smythe, assisted by a number of brethren, with Bro. Wm. T. Boden at the organ, rendered most solemn and beautiful music.

Rev. H. Calvin Smith delivered the discourse from the text: Psalms lxviii, 13—"Though ye have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver and her feathers with yellow gold." Rev. Bro. H. R. Coleman followed with a few remarks and P\G\M\Eginton read a tribute prepared for Fortitude Lodge.

P\G\M\James W. Hopper also read an original "song of lamentation." Bro. H. B. Grant, Grand Secretary, being called upon, said: "About four years ago I received from Bro. Rob Morris a paper containing these words, afterwards making verbal request that they be read at the first Masonic gathering after his death:

 

To my dear friend, H. B. Grant:

 

A MESSAGE FROM THE GRAVE,

 

I have composed this poem as under the shadow of impending death. I have made a few copies, and sent them to particular friends only, asking that they should not be published, or any public use made of them, until I am gone.

 


BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.                                          XXIII

 

Brothers in June or in December,

Honoring the memory of the dear St. John,

Then let some kind participant remember

The name of him who wrote this, but is gone;

Let some kind brother rise, while all are silent,

And with deep pathos and fond friendship say:

He was a Mason, gentle, true, not violent,

And loved old things that do not pass away.

 

He loved his friends; in them his heart found anchor,

Bound in affection as with hooks of steel;

As for his foes, he gave few signs of rancor,

But bore their slanders patiently and well.

He loved to make in simple verse that rhyming

Where ancient signs and emblems smoothly lie,

Where deeds of brother - love and truth are chiming,

And Masonry is wed to poetry.

 

He loved the word of God; its hopes eternal

Grew sweeter as the end of life drew nigh;

A sinful man, but saved by Grace supernal,

Trusting in Christ, he dreaded not to die.

 

At times a cloud the promises disguising,

And deep humility obscured the scene,

But the bright Son of Righteousness uprising

Dispelled the gloom and warmed his soul again.

 

He gave the widows and the orphans duly

A portion of his hard-earned scanty store,

And though the amount might seem but trifling truly,

He gave so cheerfully it seemed the more.

 

His heart was in his work, to Build the Temple,

In fervency, he toiled through many years,

To " build the temple " spiritual and mental,

He triumphs now—is freed from toils and tears.

 

He's gone; the problem that so long he studied,

That mystery of " the world to come " profound

Is solved; his tree of life which only budded,

Bears now full harvest in Celestial Ground.

 

In the Great Presence, with the weaned resting

He has his wages and is well content.

 

Brothers, in silence stand: your love attesting—

This is the word, your dying brother sent!

 

The Knights Templars commenced their beautiful service, which was concluded at the grave, E\Sir Frank H. Johnson, Commander, and E\Sir John Frank Lewis, Prelate, officiating.

 

The procession filed out of the church and, led by the band from Louisville, the Templars and the lodge were followed by the hearse and mourning family and friends to the village cemetery.

 

Bro. Bassett then took up the solemn Masonic services, which being concluded,


XXIV                                       BIOGRAPHY OF ROB MORRIS, LL.D.

 

Bros, J. H. Leathers and H, B. Grant placed upon the grave a floral design, representing a Masonic level, about three feet across the base, and a square, referring to the popular poem by Bro. Morris,

 

"We meet upon the Level and we part upon the Square."

 

This was surrounded by a laurel wreath, suggesting that the deceased had been crowned "Poet Laureate of Freemasonry." Another floral tribute, by the Cornmandery, was a very large Roman cross. Other very pretty designs were laid upon the grave.

 

The attendance was very large, and represented the brain and zeal of Kentucky Masonry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


PART FIRST.

 

POEMS:

 

EMBODYING THOUGHTS OF THE BIRTH, LIFE, DEATH, RESURRECTION

AND ASCENSION OF

 

JESUS, THE CHRIST.

 

 

 

 

 

The first is a coin of John Zimisces I, Emperor of the Byzantine Dominions, A.D. 969 to 975. Upon the obverse is

the portrait of CHRIST in the style of the Middle Ages, with the inscription in Greek, EMMANUEL. The

reverse presents a Passion Cross bent to the left, with Greek letters and words cantoned in the spaces.

These are read "Jesus Christ, the King of Kings." This fine specimen was procured by Dr.

Morris at Gebal, on the Phienician coast. The coin is copper. The Seal is that of

the Militia Templi, founded at Jerusalem by King Baldwin, A.D. 1118. Two

chevaliers upon one horse signify the extreme poverty of the Order.

The inscription, in Mediaeval characters, is Paperes Commili-

tones Christi etTempli Salomonis. "The Poor Fellow-

soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solo-

mon." Procured at Malta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE MASTER OF THE TEMPLARY ORDERS.

 

ONE is your Master, CHRIST, the Lord,

And we are Brethren, true and strong,

Sincere in heart, exact in word,

Abhorring vice and wrong.

 

Sir Knights, flash out the Cross-hilt Sword!

ONE is your Master, CHRIST, the Lord.

 

ONE word inspires the valiant Knight,—

It is the cruel GOLGOTHA;

ONE star leads on with steady light,

The bright, the Orient star.

 

Sir Knights, flash out the Cross-hilt Sword

ONE is your Master, CHRIST, the Lord.

 

Where lines of Knightly legends flow,

From Bethlehem to Olivet,

There do our warrior-longings go,

There is our Master yet.

 

Sir Knights, flash out the Cross-hilt Sword!

ONE is your Master, CHRIST, the Lord.

 

And when is won this earthly strife,

Laid by the SPEAR, assumed the CROWN,

We trust to share that peaceful life

Which our GREAT CAPTAIN won.

 

Sir Knights, flash out the Cross-hilt Sword!

ONE is your Master, CHRIST, the Lord.

 

The term Master, which occurs so often in this volume, is of good lineage. Here are some inspired uses of this word: "Meet for the Master's use"; "Your Master is in Heaven"; "Ye call Master and say well, for so I am"; "Master, we know that thou art true"; "One is your Master, even Christ." In the symbolical Lodge, with the respectful adjunct "Worshipful," the term Master denotes the ruler and law dispenser of the Lodge. "Sovereign Master" is a synonymous use of the word in the Commandery. This piece has been set to music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

 

THE KNIGHTS OF JESUS.

 

We meet upon the naked blade, we cross the glittering steel,

Opposing foot to foot we stand, our Knightly vows to seal;

Erect as men, with watchword high, of truth and victory,

The Templar Knight brings forth his blade to conquer or to die.

We are the Knights of Jesus,

Our word—EMMANUEL.

 

We meet before the Sepulcher, and sheathe the blood-stained sword;

In awe-struck silence gaze we on the Rising of the Lord!

No earthly victory this, and yet the greatest battle's won,—

The FATHER triumphs over death through Jesus Christ, the Sow!

We are the Knights of Jesus,

Our watchword—GOLGOTHA.

 

We meet around the tri form, Sir Knights, can we forget

The hour, the place, the scene? ah, no, they haunt our memory yet;

And while one spark of honor kindles in the Knightly heart,

We vow that in eternal scorn we'll hold the traitor's part.

We are the Knights of Jesus,

Our line of labor—Truth

 

The widow and the orphan hail the flashing of our steel;

The maid forlorn and innocent cloth Knightly aid appeal;

Pilgrims, who seek Jerusalem, our timely succor greet,

And this is Christian work for which the Templar Masons meet.

We are the Knights of Jesus,

Our word — BENEVOLENCE.

 

And when the bitter cup is quaffed, which flesh and sense abhor,

And banner cased and good swords sheathed, and words of parting o'er,

Then, by the Throne, beside the LAMP, whose service is so sweet,

We hope, Sir Knights, in endless rest, in endless bliss to meet,

We are the Knights of Jesus,

Our word — Celestial Life.

_______________

 

 

THE CROWN OF THORN.

 

O Crown of Thorn, by Jesus worn,

Bedewed with heavenly gore;

If mine the pain be mine the gain

To wear as Jesus wore.

 

 

 

16


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

O Crown of thorn, by Jesus worn,

The badge divine, 'tis given;

And may it prove by Jesus' love

A Crown of life in Heaven.

 

O Crown of thorn, His flesh was torn,

His blood suffused for me;

The sin was mine, the grace divine,

For oh, it sets me free.

 

O Crown of thorn, when breaks the morn

That Christ shall come again,

Above the host that love him most

This token will be seen.

 

O Crown of thorn, imposed in scorn

And cruel mock and jeer,

Upon my brow I lay it now,

And while I live, will wear.

 

_______________

 

 

    A FIXED AND FRAGRANT MEMORY.

 

To the far-distant shore, the utter past,

He was our link; he brought us all the good

There is in old-time things, and made them good

By his example. Now our bark has slipped

Its moorings, and we try the unknown sea,

Assured that when the Haven of Peace is found,

Where'er it be, we shall regain our lost!

 

O uest man, one in a thousand men!

O Generous heart! O trusty, faithful heart!

How in our hearts indelibly is drawn

The record of thy virtues, many and pure,

Twin record with the register in Heaven,

Whose penman is, O joy, the Omniscient God

He made our Brother, made him of the clay,

So sacred hence to virtue and to us!

 

This token of "a fixed and fragrant memory" is to the honor of Salem Town, LL.D., a century Grand Chaplain of the State Grand Bodies of New York. Ilis name appears in literature as a prolific author. Deceased 1864.

 

 

 

17


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

   DIRGE OF THE TEMPLARS.

 

PREClous in the sight of Heaven

Is the place where Christians die;

Souls with every sin forgiven,

To the courts of glory fly;

Every sorrow, every burden,

Every CROSS they lay it down;

Jesus gives them richest guerdon

In His own immortal CnowN.

 

Here, above our BROTHER weeping,

Through our tears we seize the hope,—

lie in Jesus sweetly sleeping,

Shall awake in glory up;

He has borne his CROSS in sorrow,

Weary pilgrim, all forlorn—

With the new light of to-morrow,

He will have the sparkling CROWN.

 

Knights of Christ, your ranks are broken;

Close your front, the foe is nigh;

Shield to Shield, behold the TOKEN

As he saw it in the sky!

By THAT SIGN, so bright, so glorious,

You SHALL CONQUER, if you strive,

And like him, though dead, victorious,

In the courts of JESUS live!

 

Composed in 1857 to accompany the beautiful Ritual of Templars' Burial, by E John L. Lewis, of New York. This song has entered into large use. The air to w written is Mozart's, ordinarily known as "Go, Forget Me."

 

 

THE GRAVE OF SIR OSSIAN E. DODGE.

 

Departed friend, by thy lone grave I stand,

Like thee, a pilgrim in this alien land;

And with a tribute tear, all mournfully,

I meditate, dear friend, in thoughts of thee.

 

 

I call the parted years,— they come no more

In fancy only can I tread that shore

Where mirth, and joy, and charming melody

Made up, dear friend, my intercourse with thee.

 

 

 

18


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

 Thy home no more to know its master's tread;

Our genial comrades scattered, haply dead;

Youth, hopes all buoyant, genius bright and free,—

Gone, gone, forever gone, dear friend, with thee.

 

Midst London's dead I leave thee here to rest;

No mortal care can now distract thy breast;

But in a bright hereafter may I see

All earthly loss repaired, dear friend, with thee.

 

This sweet musician and genial brother, the author of the music commonly sung to "The Level and the Square," died in London, England, October 17, 1876. I spent a Sabbath day in August, 1878, searching for his grave. It is in one of those enormous Gilles of the Dead that form such prominent features in the periphery of the great circle occupied by London. The place is Paddington Cemetery, Willesden Lane, Kilburn, about six miles from St. Paul's Cathedral. The burying ground contains thirty-six acres, the same extent as Mount Moriah, Jerusalem, and embosoms more than half a million graves.

 

SORROWING, YET NOT WITHOUT HOPE.

 

Composed and inscribed to the fragrant memory of Thomas J. Corson, by special request of M.E.

Companion I. Layton Register, Grand High Priest.

 

No! though the grave hath claimed our best,

No! though the green sprigs mark his rest,

Weeping we cry with chastened faith,

Trust in the Lord, and conquer death.

 

 

No! though a seat is vacant here,

No! though his voice no more may cheer,

Upward we cast the eye of love,

Lost to the earth, but safe above.

 

How through long years of wasting pain

Bright burned his soul and fired his brain;

In this dear place he loved to be

Here keep his name eternally.

 

Brethren, be strong, for life's demand

Boldly endure and bravely stand;

From his bright life example take —

From his blest grave let hopes awake.

 

 

 

19


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE COMING OF THE MASTER.

 

A METRICAL COMPOSITION, ARRANGED FOR A RECI TTION OF FIVE TEMPLARS, AS

IN VARIOUS GRAND AND CONSTITUENT COAIMANDERIES IN THE

UNITED STATES AND CANADA.

 

 Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariot?... A holy one coming down from Heaven.... Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth?... They shall see the SON OF MAN coming in his kingdom.... The coming of the Just' ONE.... The coming of the LORD draweth nigh.... The Master of the house cometh.

 

This metrical composition first given to the world in Philadelphia, Pa., at a convention of the four city commanderies, 1873, is a paraphrase of St. John xi, 28, which contains the words of Martha addressed to her sister Mary, “The MASTER is come and calleth for thee." The Templars' MASTER, as suggested on page 12, is JESUS CHRIST, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. "When HE had led his disciples out as far as to Bethany, HE was taken up and a cloud received HlM out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward Heaven as HE went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? this same JESUS, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen HIM go into Heaven." It has been the steadfast belief of pious Templars in all ages that this MASTER will come again!

 

When that illustrious day shall rise, and the GREAT CAPTAIN of our SALVATION demands of each of us, "What hast thou done, Sir Knight, for me?" the intelligent Frater will have ready his response. In the following poem I have suggested four different forms of reply. While one may humbly submit to the divine INQUIRER that he has cared for the widow and orphan, another may claim that his sword has been drawn in defense of injured innocence and vet another that he has pointed the contrite and broken-hearted sinner to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. These three classes of Christian performances, almsgiving, courageous all and religious instruction occupy the field of our duty as applied to others. What, then, is left to the fourth? Why, that he has performed the duty to himself; by giving himself to JESUS CHRIST to work in HIM, to will and to do of HIS good pleasure.

 

Such is the line of thought that pervades this poem. Delivered by a group of five Templars, the first speaker recites the two opening stanzas, and makes the solemn demand,

 

Servant of Jesus, bold and free,

What hast thou done, Sir Knight, for me?

 

The second Knight in his response declares that he has labored zealously in the field of Christian Benevolence.

 

Then the demand is repeated by the first speaker, and addressed in turn to the respondants. Successive replies come from the third, fourth and fifth Sir Knights, as will appear in the stanzas severally apportioned to him. The poem then concludes by the first speaker reciting the last four stanzas.

 

The effect of this dramatic composition has been most enc. uraging. It has entered into the repertoire of those Knights who prepare themselves to give interest to banquetry occasions, both in the red and black. It has been quoted in orations and addresses, and it may be supposel that but few who see these pages are not in some degree familiar with it.

20


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

The following lines, whose authorship is to us unknown, afford a proper colophon to this preface:

 

The lance is rusting on the wall,

No laurel crowns are wove:

And every Knightly strain is hushed

In castle, camp and grove.

 

No manly breast now fronts the spear,

No strong arm waves the brand,

To vindicate the rightful cause,

Or stay oppression's hand.

 

The minstrel pilgrimage has ceased;

Chivalric days are o'er,

And fiery steeds bear noble men

To Palestine no more.

 

Rejoice in beauty more than gain;

Guard well the dreams of youth,

And with devoted firmness true

Crusaders for the truth!

 

THE EXORDIUM.

 

Oh gallant Knights, in fitting garb arrayed,

With crested helm and Cross and trenchant blade,

Brave Warriors in a warfare not to cease,

Till wearied hearts shall find eternal peace.

 

While in this broad Asylum meet,

Where wisdom, beauty, strength rejoice,

Let's gather at the MASTER'S feet,

And listen to the MASTER'S voice:

The MASTER, Prince Emmanuel,

The voice His Word we love so well.

 

If to this Conclave our dear Lord would come,

If here and now, Jesus would grace this room,

If face to face, we uri;ht behold that head,

Once scarred with thorns, once humbled with the dead,

If in our hands those hands were laid, once torn

With spikes, alas! on cruel Cross tree borne,

What startling question, gallant Templars, might

The GRAND COMM ANDER make to us to-night.

 

THE FIRST DEMAND AND REPLY.

 

"Servant of Jesus, bold and free,

What hast thou done, Sir Knight, for Me?

 

21
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

I saw the Widow's tears, I heard the cry,

Her little ones in rags and misery,

Her household lamp gone out, her firelight sped,

In utter loneliness and lack of bread;

Then MASTER, in Thy place I stood! my hand

Was opened wide to that unhappy band.

 

I fed them, clothed them, and the Widow's prayer

Named my poor name who saved her from despair.

This, oh LORD, I did for THEE,

Thou hadst done so much for me.

 

THE SECOND DEMAND AND REPLY.

 

"Servant of Jesus, bold and free,

What has thou done, Sir Knight, for Me?"

I found a good man compassed round with foes,

On every side reproaches, threats and blows.

In innocence he bravely strove, and well

And many a foeman to his good sword fell;

But, nature fainting, soon his arm were numb

Had not my cross-hilt sword, relieving, come.

 

Then, MASTER, in THY place I stood! my blade

Flew swiftly from its scabbard to his aid! I shielded him;

I smote till close of day,

And drove them all, discomfited, away.

 

This, O LORD, I did for THEE!

Thou hadst done so much for me.

 

THE THIRD DEMAND AND REPLY.

 

“Servant of Jesus, bold and free,

What hast thou done, Sir Knight, for Me?"

 

I saw a stricken Knight—his youth had fled;

Friends of his manhood, age, were with the dead;—

Leaning upon a monumental stone,

A mourner, broken-hearted and alone;

Then, MASTER, in THY place I stood! I showed,

In all THY life divine, the love of God;

Pointed THEE out upon Thy radiant throne,

And lo, he made THY promises his own!

This, O LORD, I did for THEE!

Thou hadst done so much for me.

 

22
THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

THE FOURTH DEMAND AND REPLY.

 

"Servant of Jesus, bold and free,

What hast thou done, Sir Knight, for Me? "

 

MASTER DIVINE, in all life's weary round

Naught so unhappy as myself I found;

Blind, naked, sin-polluted, wholly lost,

A wreck upon the ocean, tempest-tost;

Naught could I do to win THY gracious smile,

For all env doings, like myself, were vile;

Then, MASTER, to THYSELF I flew! I plead

That righteousness that triumphed o'er the dead;

Placed my eternal trust within Thy hand,

And evermore will bow at THY command.

This, O LORD, I did for THEE!

Thou hadst done so much for me.

 

THE LAUDATION.

 

Sir Knights, well done! the high award is given.

Yon open book assures you of His praise!

It is not far from grateful heart to Heaven,

Almost we see Him by faith's earnest gaze;

Sir Knights, well done! in golden letters see,

"Ye did it unto them and unto ME!"

 

It is but little any man can do,

So insignificant is human power,

But as on earthly pilgrimage we go,

There are occasions, every day and hour,

When sorrow's voice is heard. and be our care

To do as JESUS would were JESUS there!

 

The Widow's tears are His, for JESUS wept;

The imperiled Knight is His,—leap forth, ye blade!

The broken heart is His,— while others slept

How, in Gethsemane, HE wept and prayed!

Sir Knights, HE left this sin-struck world to us,

To teach its comfort and remove its curse.

 

Leap forth, good Swords! stand, Templars, on your feet!

In serried ranks bear one another up!

By THIS SIGN CONQUER,— it is full, complete, —

You need no other faith, no other hope;

And when from dying hands the sword shall fall,

Fear not, the MASTER will redeem us all!

 

23


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

The following is sung in full chorus at the conclusion of the Recitation:

 

   HOSANNA.

 

Now Hosanna, Son of David,

Blessed be Thy name to-day!

Shout Hosanna in the highest,

Born to everlasting sway!

Lift your head, ye golden gate,

Jesus comes in royal state;

Shout Hosanna, shout and sing,

Jesus Christ, the Lord is King!

 

Blessed be the King of Judah,

Peace and glory in the sky!

In the name of God he cometh,

Here to rule eternally.

 

Mighty doors, your bolts unbrace,

Let the Lord of Glory pass;

Shout Hosanna, shout and sing,

Jesus Christ, the Lord is King!

 

Glory to the Conquering Hero;

Not with strength of warrior swords,

His the might of earth and Heaven,

KING of KINGS and Lord of Lords.

Hearts of stone your hinges move,

Open to the Lord of love;

Shout Hosanna, shout and sing,

Jesus Christ, the Lord is King!

Praise to God, the Glorious Father,

Praise to God, the Gracious Son,

Praise to God, the Loving Spirit,

God Eternal, three in one

Powers of sin no more restrain,

God is come on earth to reign;

Shout Hosanna, shout and sing,

Jesus Christ, the Lord is King!

 

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying ALLELUIA! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. — Revelation xix, 6.

 

24


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

      THE TEMPLARS OF CALIFORNIA.

 

In your own bright California, along this golden slope,

Is set by bounteous Providence each emblem of our hope;

 The giant trees, the placid sea, the pure and virgin snow,

And golden fruits unrivaled that in your gardens grow.

 

Yes, this is like the alestim upon whose soil I've trod,

Where man first learned his brother-man, first learned his father-God;

The same bright fruits, the seasons, and the same pacific sea,

Bring back from Judah's storied hills best memories to me.

 

Your mountains call from history that grand, heroic time

When David's son, the Mason king, reared up a wall sublime;

When gold in countless measure by the willing hand was spent,

And Ophir to Jerusalem her wealth of treasure lent.

 

Your sea recalls that "utmost sea" of which the Prophet wrote,

That bore upon its billows such a cedar-laden flote,

And Pariah stone and porphyry that by the skillful hand,

Assumed exquisite symmetry to answer God's command.

 

But most of all, most admirable, most memorable to me,

These cross-hilt swords and banners high of Knightly imagery;

The soldiers of EMMANUEL, the Templars strong and rare,

Yes, these recall the holiest thoughts that stirred my spirit there.

 

Sir Knights, I've stood within the cave where first HE saw the light

Whose NAME inspires, in Heaven and earth, the gallant Templar Knight;

I've bowed with head uncovered, bowed with bent and willing knee,

 Beside the spot that drank His blood, the hateful Calvary.

 

I've followed Jesus, step by step, all through the Holy Land,

And here, said I, HE healed the sick, and here the withered hand,

Here brought the clamorous blind to sight, here cursed the barren tree,

Here fed the starving multitude along the stormy sea.

 

 

I've sat where the great Preacher sat when breathing words of love,

And read, in solemn silence, what HE said of things above.

Never in all my life, Sir Knights, stood Jesus Christ so nigh,

As in that land where Hiram taught Freemasons how to die.

 

Therefore, though in this withered arm is spent the manly force,

Nor spear nor falchion can I wield, nor guide the fiery horse,

Yet with an unchanged soul I gaze upon this Blazonry,

And lend a gladsome voice to yours, and join your battle cry.

 

25


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

 Beauseant, Beauseant, 'twas uttered on that dark, ensanguined field

Of Hattin, where the Knights went down with shivered spear and shield;"

God wills it," Dieu le z'eut, and this, Sir Knights, shall be our cry

When in His own good time it is appointed us to die.

 

Then hail, dear Templar Knights, all hail! your warfare is of God,

And naught but what's celestial has the service of your sword;

If Charity, and Gentleness, and Chastity inspire

The warfare of the Templar Knight,—this is the Christian fire.

 

And when you sheathe the cross-hilt sword, and lay the helmet down,

May the COMMANDER wreathe your brows with the immortal crown,

In the Asylum where HE waits, may each the MASTER view,

And in eternal peace enjoy the wages that are due!

 

This poem was composed and read at a Lecture delivered by the writer before California Cornmandery, No. 1, at San Francisco, Cal., April, 1876. The similarity of soil, climate and productions between this state and the "Holy Land" is too striking to escape the notice of a traveler familiar with both.

 

THE KNIGHT TEMPLAR AT REST.

 

Resting in calm repose,

The fiercest blast that blows

And bows yon sturdy oaks on Bashan's height,

Can yield no influence here;

For many and many a year

Hath "slept in Jesus" this our stalwart Knight.

While rust corrodes his great cross-hilted sword,

The toil-spent Templar rests before the Lord.

 

He heard an inward call, —

"Leave home, leave country, all

That love you or are loved,—leave wealth and fame,

And with this ruddy Cross,

Count other things but dross,

To go and battle in your Master's name!

There, where I walked in early clays with men,

Go, I will meet you, striving there, again!" 

 

Meekly he rose and went;

His hard-earned fortune spent

In the high cause for which he took the sword

He chose the lowliest place;

For nothing can abase

The servant when he imitates his Lord.

 

26


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

Yet where the strokes fell thickest midst the din

He listened, yearning for that voice again.

 

And here the Templar fell; Battling full long and well;

He fell beneath the point of Paynim spear;

But to his dying eye The Master's form drew nigh,

The Master's whisper blest his dying ear; —

"Well done, true Knight, inherit thy reward!

The servant is not greater than his Lord!" 

 

In a cave near Jericho there was found, in 1867, a skeleton distinguished as the relic of a Knight Templar by the armor, sword, spurs, and silver badge of the "valiant and magnanimous Order."

 

 

   AT LAST.

 

At last—all things come round at last;

Long years and strange events have past,

And some are dead we hoped to greet,

Since first these friends proposed to meet.

 

Blow, stormy winds, your utmost blast,

For here kind Fraters meet, at last.' 

Tyled closely from the world without,—

Inspired by faith unmixed with doubt,—

We bare our hearts to friendship's eye,

And every mortal care defy.

 

Drop, murky clouds, the sky o'ercast,

For here good Fraters meet, at last! 

With glowing precepts old and dear;—

With songs to move fraternal tear,—

And story quaint, and witty flow,

Our night shall sweetly, swiftly go:

Roar, angry stream, thou volume vast,

For here brave Templars meet, at last! 

And when the parting prayer is given,

Which scales the inner walls of Heaven,—

When silent hand-grasps speak the grace

No language ever can express,

We'll hope, though happy night be past,

Within the veil to meet, at last!

 

27
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

                 THE PASTORAL IMAGE.

 

O Lamb of God, O, Lamb that once wast slain,

We walk among the pastures of Thy land,

Thy meads and founts spread out on every hand,

And long to see Thee feeding here again.

 

Thou art our Shepherd—Thou the expert, the bold—

Thy mighty rod defends the gentle flock;

The erring Thou restrainest with Thy crook;

At eventide Thou leadest them to the fold.

 

At noon, Thou guidest unto cooling springs;

Sultry the blazing sun may heat the hills;

In quiet meadows, by the singing rills,

We lie refreshed, while our sweet Shepherd sings.

 

And 0, beloved Pastor, lest the harms

Of the rude rocks should wound their tender feet,

Thou, strong to save, and in Thy mercies sweet,

Dost take our little Lambs within Thine arms.

 

Thou art the door, the entrance to the fold;

Through Thee we joyful pass: we know Thy voice;

Yet call us, Lord! O, how we will rejoice!

There is no hunger there, no pinching cold.

 

Where Thou art, all is safety, all is rest;

Harmless the ravening wolf may seek his prey;

The robber vainly haunts the midnight way,

While we repose in safety on Thy breast.

 

O, tender One! and did our Shepherd bleed -

Bleed for our sorrows? when, midst galling storm,

And blows, and sweat, and scourge, and poisonous thorn,

Thou, Jesus, died—was it for us, indeed?

 

Yes, yes, for us: then let us follow on;

No more to lag, unwilling, on the way;

No more from thy dear person, Lord, to stray;

But close and loving, till life's day is done.

 

The image of the Lamb, as a suggestion of Jesus, is common on the coins of the Knights of Malta, successors of the Templars. The Paschal lamb, or lamb of sacrifice, is a type of the sufferings and death, the expiation and atonement taught in the Easter Services of the Templar Commanderies of the present day. This was in the writer's mind when he penned the above, amidst pastoral scenes of Bethlehem and Galilee.

 

28


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

      THE EARNEST PLEA.

 

Lord, why can I not follow now?

Where'er Thou goest let me go;

Of Thy dark cup, oh, grant a share,

And of Thy burdens let me bear;

Only do Thou acknowledge me,

Then, with full heart, I'll follow Thee! 

 

Death—no, I do not fear his name;

Cross—yes, I covet all its shame;

Friends go and leave disconsolate;

Foes crush me down with cruel hate;

Only do Thou acknowledge me,

Then, with full heart, I'll follow Thee! 

 

Jesus, I've found in Thine employ,

Still some new source of holy joy;

Pilgrim, and sad, when shall I come

Glad unto Thine eternal home!

Only do Thou acknowledge me,

Then with full heart, I'll follow Thee!

 

      FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH.

 

PALM LEAVES to strew o'er our dead,

Trump notes to grace his last way.

Gems to bedeck the fair head,

Crowned for death's glory to-day;

Weep not midst triumphs like these,

Give him with joy to the tomb;

Wages of promise are his,

Soon shall he rise from its gloom.

 

Green live the deeds of our friend;

Sweet is his virtue's perfume;

Prayers from his soul did ascend,

Pure as the dewy-washed bloom;

Open his heart as the day,

Prompt to yield Heaven its due;

Strong to give virtue the sway,

Heart-warm his pity, and true

 

Used, as set to music by various composers, at the Templar demonstrations associated with sequies of Sir James A. Garfield, President of the United States.

 

29


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.

 

THE GLEAMING OF THE ORIENT.

 

The ORIENT gleams with starry beams, the STAR of CHRIST is up;

It guides us on our pilgrimage, it points the NATION'S HOPE;

It points the flowery way of life, there's joy in every beam,

And we shall surely find at last the BABE OF BETHLEHEM.

 

The generations of the dead have gone this way before;

The STAR to them, as unto us, immortal tidings bore;

They bade farewell to earthly things, they counted all things dross,

And found immortal glory in the burden of the CROSS.

 

And we have seen the EASTERN STAR break through the shadows dim;

And, led by this, have hastened here to serve and worship HIM,—

The LAMB OF GOD, th' ETERNAL WORD, the LILY and the SUN,

And the strong LION, that shall raise the dead when all is done.

 

We follow fast, we follow far, we follow while we live,

We never cease, through weariness, the WORSHIP that we give.

We only crave to find at last, beyond the shadows dim,

Our Rest and our Salvation in the BABE OF BETHLEHEM.

 

Then gleam, O STAR, forever,

And lead us on to God!

 

THE GRAND ADVENT OF THE TEMPLARS.

 

Hark to the din of drums!

List to the bugles' blare!

And lo, the cross-hilt column comes, —

Was ever sight so fair?

See on the arched sky,

Hear in the murmuring wave,

How nature joins us joyously

To meet the Templar brave!

The NORTH sends forth her legion long,

The EAST her tide compact and strong,

The WEST her best of warrior throng,

The SOUTH her Templars rare;

Was ever sight so fair?

 

 

CHRIST rules the earth to-day, —

Light of the CROSS illumes.

His Beauseant on high display,

And stir the rolling drums!

 

30
THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

Host of the martyred LORD, Knights of the Orient Star,

O spread His name, His praise abroad,—

Was ever sight so fair?

The NORTH sends forth her legion long,

The EAST her tide compact and strong,

The WEST her best of warrior throng,

The SOUTH her Templars rare;

Was ever sight so fair? 

 

The coming of the Commanderies to Chicago, Illinois, in the summer of 1880 was an event never to be forgotten by an eye witness. It demonstrated the strength and zeal of Templar Masonry with a force that has put to silence the cavilings of our opponents. The above lines were set to martial music by Frederic W. Root.

 

   FOR JESUS' SAKE.

 

For Jesus' sake,—for O, a weary road

O'er hill and valley Jesus trod for me;

My gentle Shepherd, with the love of God,

In mercy sought and found and set me free.

I was a prisoner in the thrall of sin,

I was a wanderer on the mountain bleak,

And since my Saviour now hath brought me in,

I'll guide and pity such for Jesus' sake.

 

For Jesus' sake,—for O, He died for me!

It was nay sin that drove him to the tomb;

In ghastly horror, on the accursed tree

He bore them all while Heaven was "draped with gloom;

I cannot keep my tears—they fall like rain

While thinking how that loving heart did break;

And since he has removed sin's galling chain

I'll consecrate my life for Jesus' sake.

 

 

For Jesus' sake,—for O, in whisperings low

His Holy Spirit tells me—I am His!

My spirit bounds to meet Him, and we go

In sweet communion to the Land of Bliss!

Come weal, come woe—it matters not to me;

Fast speeds the hour when angel wings I'll take.

One with the saints in glory I shall be

Lift high your gates, ye Heavens, for Jesus' sake.

 

 

31


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES.

 

O early search the Scriptures; 'tis the dew

On tender leaves; 'tis the young rose's bloom;

'Tis the bright tinge of morning; 'tis the hue

That cloth on cheek of conscious virtue come;

'Tis all that gratifies the sight.

 

To see this precious Book aright.

 

O fondly search the Scriptures; 'tis the voice

Of loved ones gone forever; 'tis the song

That calls to memory childhood's perished joys;

'Tis the blest accents of the angelic throng;

'Tis all that gratifies the ear,

This holy Book aright to hear.

 

O deeply search the Scriptures; 'tis the mine

Of purest gold, and gems of richest sort;

'Tis life's full sustenance of corn and wine;

'Tis raiment, clean and white, from Heaven brought;

'Tis wealth beyond all we can crave,

This Heavenly Book aright to have.

 

For here, O here, the fond departed,

The MAN OF SORROWS, slain for us,

Speaks to the worn and broken-hearted,

And tells us, "I have borne the curse!

Redeemed thee from the power of death,

And sanctified thy parting breath!"

 

That in bright lands depictured here,

Are many mansions, ample room,

Where parted ones, of all most dear,

Will bid us welcome from the tomb;

Where many a friend we counted lost

Is singing with the heavenly host.

 

This is the one appointed way

Through which the Holy Ghost cloth speak;

O search the Scriptures through life's day,

And treasures of salvation seek;

Assured there is no other ford

Through Jordan's billows save the WORD.

 

32


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTI-IOOD.

 

 THE CHOICE OF DUKE GODFREY

 

"Not where the Saviour bore

Thorns on His brow;

Not where my King upon

Cross tree did bow;

Not where the Prince of Life

Sorrowed and groaned,

Godfrey shall ever be

Homaged and crowned.

 

"Mine be the humbler name,

Fitter by far,

`Warder of Tomb Divine,

Christ's Sepulcher';

Mine at its portal

In armor to lie!

Mine in death's ministry

When I shall die." 

Knight of Christ's Sepulcher,

Christ's Chevalier,

Good Sword of Jesus,

Oh, live grandly here!

Ashes of Godfrey, there's

No place like this,

Crowned in Christ's glory

And reigning in bliss! 

 

This redoubtable hero, Godfrey de Bouillon, when crowned as the first King of Jerusalem, August, 1099, refused to wear the emblem of gold and jewels, averring that "King Jesus had worn a crown of thorns." The writer visiting the site of his tomb in 1868, laid upon it a wreath of the spina-christi from the Jordan Valley, in commemoration of the story.

 

 

RISE UP: HE CALLETH THEE.

 

HE calleth us to words and deeds of love,

As spring calls forth from wintry crust the

Cowers; He breathes within us spirit from above

As zephyrs breathe within the sunny bowers;

He saith, Arise, shake off the dust, and go

Where duty calls, where sorrow bath its sway;

He points our feet the proper path, and lo,

He promiseth to be with us alway!

 

33
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

THE SERVICE OF THE TEMPLAR.

 

I SERVE, and my wages are ample,

I watch by the gate of my Lord;

The innermost joy of his Temple

Not yet does the MASTER afford.

 

But I SERVE at His will

And all patiently still,

At the Mystery gate I wait, I wait.

 

I SERVE, and my service is holy,

Though raiment be scanty and torn;

The crumbs of the feast to the lowly,

The rags to the watcher forlorn.

 

I SERVE, and if sometimes o'er weary,

Impatient at moments so slow,

My Master sends messages cheery,

"Be vigilant, gallant and true!"

 

I SERVE, but the long watch is ending,

The waning stars hint of the morn,

My Lord from His palace is bending,

Oh, joy to the watcher forlorn!

For I SERVE at His will

And all patiently still,

At the Mystery gate I wait, I wait.

 

The motto for the Prince of Wales, Ich Dien ("I serve"), is peculiarly applicable to the relations borne by the Templar Knight to his Heavenly Master. As expressed in the Templar's Rituals and shadowed in the armorials of the Order, the position of a Templar is that of a servant, the servant of Christ. His time of service is marked out in the mind of his Master, and his wages are "laid up in store for him," to be paid over at the proper time.

 

Inscribed, under brotherly memories of many years, to Sir Theodore S. Parvin, Grand Recorder of the Grand Encampment of the United States.

 

 

INVITATIONS TO PILGRIMAGE.

 

Come then, dear followers of Christ, your hand;

Together, Pilgrims, to the Holy Land!

Climb nimbly now, along the sacred hills;

Drink joyously the cool, refreshing rills;

Tread the same pathway in this later age

That Jesus trod in early pilgrimage.

 

34


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

All well known things are there; from flowers that bloom

And trees that soar, down to His empty tomb;

And all things speak in nature's chorus true,

Of Him who lived, and loved, and died for you.

 

Come, and when Holier Land, where Christ hath gone,

Preaks on your sight,—when breaks the expectant

Morn O'er heavenly hills, and faith and hope shall die,

The deepest secrets of the upper sky

Shall be revealed; the humblest emblem here

Shall have its antitype celestial there,

And earth, with all its imagery be given

A school to fit us for the perfect Heaven.

 

_____________________

 

NEVER FORGET.

 

Never forget, dear Comrade, while you live,

The ties of which the Templar's vow is wound;

Never forget a Templar to forgive,

If in his breast a kindred heart is found;

Never forget, though rust and sin may soil,

And lewd desires your bosom's tablet stain,

There is full pardon after life's turmoil,

If we but trust in Hint "who rose again."

Never forget the sad, sad story told

This hour, of treason in Gethsemane;

Never forget the good Cyrenian bold

Who bore the SUFFERER'S cross so manfully;

Never forget the taper quenched in night,

The darkened room, the silent group around;

Never forget the jubilant delight

When in his place a worthier was found.

 

Never forget to live the Templar's life,

Though hard it may be, rough, and fraught with care;

Our work, we told you, is a constant strife,—

We promised you but coarse and scanty fare;

Not long the weary arm, the moldy crust,

See on Celestial plains our camps are set!

Strike and press on, brave Comrade, as you must,

"By this sign conquer!" do thou ne'er forget.'

 

This piece is extensively used in the American Commanderics as an exhortation to the newly created, immediately following the accolade. For this use it admits of esoteric changes and interpolations ad libitum. It has been set to music.

 

35


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THINKING OF JESUS.

 

REFLECTIONS UPON THE LIFE AND WORK OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHILE EXPLORING THE HOLY LAND IN 1868. IN NINE PARTS.

 

That which we have seen with our eves, and our hands have handled.... declare we unto you.— 1 JOHN i, 1-3.

 

I. BETHLEHEM: THE PLACE OF HIS BIRTH.

 

I thought of JESUS on the Hill

Of BETHLEHEM, fair BETHLEHEM:

The Shepherds watching through the night,

The angelic songsters clothed in light,

The promised CHILD so humbly born

For pilgrimage of toil and scorn;

Then, as I mused on them,

This voice from BETHLEHEM I heard,

The Hill Is Holy to our new-born Lord! 

 

The city of Bethlehem, five miles south of Jerusalem, is charmingly situated upon an eastern spur of the ridge that composes the land of Palestine. It is 2,700 feet above the Mediterranean, and 4,100 above the Dead Sea. It covers the hill, terraced on every side from the valleys, and is thus embowered in groves of mulberry, fig and olive trees, and grape vines that produce marvelous clusters. The Shepherds watching through the night. There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. — Luke ii, 8. The angelic songsters, clothed in light. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them. And there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God. —Luke ii. 9-13. The promised child. Behold, a virgin shall bear a Son, and shall call his name EMMANUEL.—ISAIAH vii, 14.

 

—so humbly born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.— LUKE ii, 7. For pilgrimage of toil and scorn. I gave my hack to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair, hid not my face from shame and spitting.—ISAIAH i, 6. "He went about doing good."

 

II. NAZARETH: THE HOME OF HIS YOUTH.

 

I thought of Jesus in the Vale

Of NAZARETH, sweet NAZARETH.

His name is murmured in its Fount, —

His praises sweep along its Mount,—

His youthful feet have trodden there,—

His earliest thoughts distilled in prayer;

Then, as I bowed in faith,

This voice from NAZARETH I heard,—

The Vale is Holy to our youthful Lord!

 

36


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

His name is murmured in its Fount, The fountain which supplies the people of Nazareth with water is one-half mile east of the city. Thither the mother of Jesus must have gone often with water jar on shoulder, and the prattling boy by her side, as the mothers of Nazareth are yet seen to do, morning and evening. His praises sweep along its Mount. Above the city of Nazareth, on the west, is the overhanging mountain described in Luke iv, 29. The view from its top is one of the broadest and most interesting in all Holy Land, and as such must frequently have met the eye of the divine Nazarene. His youthful feet have trodden there. From the day of his learning to walk, to his departure upon his divine mission at the manly age of thirty, Jesus made his principal labors and journeys in and around Nazareth. His earliest thoughts distilled in prayer. As we read in Luke ii, 52, that Jesus, at Nazareth, grew "in favor with God," and as he was emphatically a man of prayer during his ministry, often withdrawing in solitude for that purpose, we may safely conclude that his mind was absorbed in this sacred abstraction, even from early youth.

 

III. JORDAN: THE SCENE OF HIS BAPTISM.

 

I thought of Jesus in the rush

Of JORDAN'S waters, cool and good;

How cheering was that noontide draught!

Never such healthful cup I'd quaffed;

So CHRiSr, whose presence blest its wave,

Health and refreshing coolness gave;

Then, as well cheered I stood,

This voice from JORDAN'S wave I heard,—

The Stream is Holy to our baptized Lord!

 

 

Of ordan's waters, cool and good. The water of this swift-flowing river is much cooler than the atmosphere in the hot valley through which it flows, and being pure and wholesome, it is extremely grateful to man and beast. All the wild beasts and birds of the Jordan Valley throng to these waters as to a banquet God bath prepared for them. Never such healthful cup I'd quaffed. The writer had gone down from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, bathed there, tarried there for some hours, and then traversed the burning plain six miles before he reached the Jordan, and this made his first draught of its cooling waters so delicious and refreshing that "the good cheer of Jordan" will abide in his memory so long as life shall last. So Christ, whose presence blest its wave. Then cometh Jesus to Jordan to be baptized.— MATTHEW iii, 13. Jesus was baptized of John in Jordan. — MARK i, 9. Health and refreshing coolness gave. All the happiness of the body, as well as the spirit, is primarily due to Jesus, CREATOR of all things. This fact is realized with peculiar force by the traveler following up the traces of the divine feet.

 

IV. GALILEE: THE CENTER OF HIS LABORS.

 

I thought of Jesus by the Sea

Of GALILEE, blue GALILEE:

His sermon blessed its peaceful shore,

He stilled its tempest by His power,

His mightiest deeds He wrought and drew

From fishermen there His chosen few;

Then, as I bowed the knee,

This voice from GALILEE I heard,

The Sea is Holy to our laboring Lord!

37


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

            — Blue Galilee. The purity of the atmosphere in Palestine, giving a deep cerulean hue to every object, is peculiarly observable around the Sea of Galilee, as it lies in the bottom of a deep basin of basaltic mountains. All travelers remark "How blue is this charming lake!" His sec nzoa blessed its peaafulshorn The Sermon on the Mount" was delivered, it is believed, upon the hills that overhang the Sea of Galilee on the west. In that clear atmosphere, the sound of his voice would readily reach the sea shore, and mingle with the singing tones of the waters as they ripple along the sand. He stilled its tempest by his power. He rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.—MATTHEW viii, 26. The Sea of Galilee is subject to sudden storms like the one described in the Scripture. His mightiest deeds he wrought. Some twenty out of the thirty-five of the recorded miracles of Jesus, including the cleansing of the leper, restoring the blind to sight and raising the dead, were performed around or in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee.  — drew from fishermen there, His chosen few. Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee saw Peter and Andrew, fishers, and James and John, in a ship mending their nets, and he called them. — MATTHEW iv, 18-21. It is thought that all the Apostles, save, perhaps, Judas Iscariot, were residents of the vicinity of Capernaum.

 

V. GETHSEMANE: THE GARDEN OF HIS AGONY.

 

I thought of JESUS, in that Grove

Of agony, GETHSEMANE:

Its hoary leaves around me sighed,

Its dewdrops wept; my spirit vied

With nature's grief, till I forgot

All time, all space, in that sad spot;

Then, as my thoughts came free,

This, from GETHSEMANE I heard,

The Grove is Holy to our sorrowing lord!

 

             —that Grove of agony, Gethsemane.— The present inclosure of Gethsemane, a scanty half acre, is marked by the presence of eight large olive trees, to which were applied by the writer of this poem the names of eight pious song writers of America. Its dewdrops wept.—The writer visited the Garden of Gethsemane at the close of the day, as the cool olive leaves began to con-dense from the superheated atmosphere the refreshing dews of evening. I forgot all time, all space in that sad spot. —Cold must be the heart that can meditate under the trees of Gethsemane without tears. The writer reading there "of the agony" and "the sweat," as recorded in Luke xxii, was fain to yield to an uncontrollable gush of emotion.

 

VI. JERUSALEM: THE CITY OF HIS DEATH.

 

I thought of JESUS, as I walked

A pilgrim through JERUSALEM.

What memories does its history trace!

His living lone; His dying grace;

The bread; the wine; the coming doom;

The Scourge; the Crown; the Cross; the Tomb;

Then, in the Paschal hymn,

This, from JERUSALEM I heard,

City most Holy to our dying- Lord!  

 

— I walked a pilgrim through Jerusalem.— Jerusalem is, of all the cities upon earth, the nucleus of pilgrimage. The Jews crowd there as to the capital city of their fathers; the Moham-

 

38


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGIITIIOOD.

 

medans visit Jerusalem in multitudes, as a noted place in the history of their own lawgiver; and Christians "walk about Zion," as to the place of "the death and rising again" of the Son of Man. Mount Moriah, the site of the Jewish temple, is equally holy to both. His living love.— Jesus having loved his own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.—JoHN xiii, I. — his dying grace.— Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. — LUKE xxiii, 34. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. —JOHN xv, 13. The bread,.—He took bread, and gave thanks and brake it, and gave unto them.— LUKE xxii, 19. the wine.—He took the cup and gave it to them and they all drank of it.—MARK xiv, 23. — the coming doom.— Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world.— JOHN xiii, r. The Scourge.— He scourged Jesus. — MATTHEW xxvii, 26. Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged him.— JOHN xix, i. the Crown.—The soldiers therefore platted a crown of thorns and put it upon his head.—JOHN xix, 2. the Cross.— He bearing his Cross went forth.— JOHN xix, 17. the tomb.— Joseph laid him in a sepulcher.— MARK xv, 46. A new sepulcher wherein was never man yet laid.—JOHN xix. 41.

 

VII. OLIVET: THE MOUNT OF HIS ASCENSION.

 

I thought of JESUS, on the Mount

Of OLIVET, gray OLIVET;

'Twas there He led His weeping band,

Within their group they saw Him stand,

His parting promises were given,

He blest them, rose and went to Heaven;

Then, as I turned my feet,

This VOICE from OLIvET I heard, —

The Mount is Holy to our ascended Lord!

 

—gray Olivet.—The character of the stone which composes the country around Jerusalem is calcareous, producing a thick, caustic and grayish dirt. The general impression made upon the traveler's mind is grayishness. Within their group they saw Him stand.— No painter has succeeded in embodying this event. The KING about to exchange His earthly for His heavenly throne; the waiting DIscII'I,Es accompanying Him to the very confines of His promised possession; the solitary place; the awful expectation standing out upon the countenances of His owN,— the idea is too grand for mortal pencil to delineate. His parting promises were given.— Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you.—LUKE xxiv, 49. This Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go.—ACTS i, II. He blest them —.—He lifted up his hands and blessed them. —LUKE xxiv, 50. — rose, and went to Heaven.— While he blessed them he was parted from them and carried up into Heaven.—LUKE, xxiv, 51. He was received up into Heaven and sat on the right hand of God.—MARK xvi, 19. He was taken up and a cloud received him out of their sight. —AcTs i, 9.

 

VIII. THE FIRST SUMMARY OF CHRISTIAN TESTIMONIES.

 

Thus Holy Land, on every side

Tells of the ONE, the CRUCIFIED!

Its Hill tops sacred witness bear,

That HE, the homeless, slumbered there;

Its Plains His footsteps still imprint,

Who o'er their thirsty pathways went;

 

39
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

Its Waters Ms blest image trace

That once reflected JEsus' face;

Its Stars on Heaven's broad pages write

That JEsus prayed beneath their light;

Its Flowers in grace and perfume tell

That their CREATOR loved them well;

And e'en its Thorn tree bears His Name

Whose platted Crown was woven of them.

 

That He, the homeless, slumbered there.— Jesus said, Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.— LuKE ix, 58. Who o'er their thirsty pathways went.— Jesus, wearied with his journey, sat on the well and said, Give me to drink. —JOHN iv, 6, 7. The Holy Land is emphatically a "thirsty land" to travelers, who require frequent draughts of water at every stage of their journey. That once reflected Jesus' face.— In visiting the fount of Ain Kanterah at Sarepta, where Jesus healed the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman, the writer was moved by this thought: "Could the unconscious fountain speak, it would describe the lineaments of the Son of Man." And he there wrote this stanza:

 

"How looked the Saviour? Oh to see

His face divine! was it in grief

At human pain, and misery,

And want, and sin, and unbelief?"

 

How Jesus prayed beneath their light.— He went up into a mountain to pray.— MATTHEW xiv, 23; MARK vi, 46. He continued all night in prayer to God.— LUKE vi, 12. That their Creator loved then well.—Consider the lilies of the field.—MATTHEW vi, 28. And e'en its Thorn tree bears His Name whose platted Crown was woven of them.— The Spiny tree, from which the twigs were taken that formed "the platted Crown," were unquestionably those of the Nubk (Zey hus spina-Christi), or "Thorn of Christ." It grows in the valleys around Jerusalem, and abundantly in the Jordan Valley, and is a vegetable production of portentous character.

 

II IX. THE FINAL SUMMARY OF TESTIMONIES

 

Its Breezes sigh; its Tempests roar:

Its wild Laves break along the shore:

Its Fruitage ripens in the Sun:

Its Son, Birds tell the day begun:

Its Hills in snowy grandeur rise:

Its Storm Clouds vex the peaceful skies:

In every sight the Christian's eye

Something of JEsus will espy!

In every sound the Christian's ear,

Something of JESUS CHRIST will hear!

One testimony all afford, —

THE LAND IS HOLY UNTO JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!

 

Its breezes sigh, — The morning and evening breezes in the hill country are regular, and in the sultry season peculiarly grateful and wholesome. As they come surging up the mountain slopes they seem to sigh of the waves they have just left. — its tempests roar.—The writer encountering a terrible storm of hail and rain in Lebanon, near the Nahr-el-Kelb near Beyrout, was deeply impressed by the splendid imagery in which the Psalmist describes such an elementary

 

40


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

strife. Its wild waves break along the shore.— The coast line of Palestine undergoes steady abrasion from the heavy rollers that move in upon it with irresistible power from the broad expanse of the Mediterranean. Many wrecks meet the eye along the beach. Its fruitage ripens in the sun.—The immense variety and abundance of Holy Land fruits have been the marvel of all ages. Fruit constitutes much of the living of the natives. Its song birds tell the day begun.— A burst of nightingales (bulbuls), doves and many other varieties of song birds hails the approach of day, particularly along the water streams. Its hills in snowy grandeur rise.— Hermon, 10,000 feet high, and Sunnin, even a little more elevated, exhibit snowy caps all through the season of summer. Its storm clouds vex the peaceful skies.— As intimated, the strife of elements at certain seasons is indescribably grand, especially through the mountain region of Lebanon. In every sight the Christian's eye something of y'esus will espy.— The traveler who reads " the coming Messiah" through all the narratives and predictions of the Old Testament will discover that every visible object is made use of by the Holy Spirit as an emblem to suggest the character or mission of the COMING ONE. In every sound the Christian's ear something of Jesus Christ will hear.—The Messianic imagery em-braces as well the sounds of nature as its sights. The very birds give tongue to Him who framed them and intrusted them with the sweetest notes in the scale of earthly music. One testimony all afford,—The Land is Holy unto.'esus Christ our Lord.— This is the only conclusion that renders the Land of the Bible a worthy place of pilgrimage. All others degrade it to the class of ordinary resorts. Unmitigated despotism, supplementing the waste and horror of protracted war, leaves nothing else to the country save glorious memories and its power to illustrate "the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ."

 

EAT AND BE FILLED.

 

A RECITATION FOR A RED CROSS BANQUET.

 

Eat and be filled, no scarceness here;

Welcome, brave Knights, to ample cheer!

The hand divine hath blessed our bread,

Freely partake—for you 'tis spread!

 

Eat and be filled, come thickly now,

"The more the merrier," we vow!

This night to us is blest and bright—

Praise God for such a goodly sight!

 

Eat and be filled, let merry jest

Betray the joy of every guest;

Let mirth abound, and lightsome song

Our glad festivities prolong.

Eat and be filled, may HE who fed

Ten thousand with His fish and bread

Enlarge our Knightly store to feed

Earth's starving millions in their need.

 

"And they did all eat and were filled."— MARK vi, 42.

 

41

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

   FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH.

 

Faithful to the trust imposed,

Holding in an honest heart,

Secrets to the true disclosed,

Laws from which we ne'er depart—

Be thou faithful unto death,

And thou shalt have a Crown of Life.

 

Active as the Master was

In all deeds of charity;

Sowing as the farmer sows,

Freely o'er the fruitful lea—

Be thou faithful unto death,

And thou shalt have a Crown of Life.

 

Chaste and pure in virtue's way,

Spotless as the lambskin worn

By the mystical array,

Pure as dewdrops of the morn —

Be thou faithful unto death,

And thou shalt have a Crown of Life.

 

Honest with a neighbor's store;

Wronging none, o'erreaching none;

Timely warning him before

Danger falls and hope is goue—

Be thou faithful unto death,

And thou shalt have a Crown of Life.

 

Bearing up an earthly Cross,

Patient, humble, meek and true;

Taking cheerfully the loss,

Gratefully the wages due—

Be thou faithful unto death,

And thou shalt have a Crown of Life.

 

Soon the Sabbath will appear,

End of sorrow, pain and wrong;

Only six days' labor here;

Can ye not endure so long?

Be thou faithful unto death,

And thou shalt have a Crown of Life.

 

42


THE MASONRY OF CIIRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

 SHAME NOT THE CROSS.

 

Shame not the Cross, dear Templars! word and deed

Be holy while you bear the mystic sign!

The Master's wounds, alas! too freshly bleed

Whene'er His votaries unto sin incline.

 

The All-seeing Eye is ever bent to catch

Each deviation from the Templar's vow,

In constant vigil, therefore, wait and watch,

Nor shame the Cross which marks the Templar now.

Shame not the Cross— Shame not the Cross.

 

Shame not the Cross! a host of witnesses

Eager to slander, waiting to decry,

Is gathered round, and shall we pleasure these

To be their byword and a mockery?

Ah, no; be true, brave Templars! By the sword

Which speaks of Calvary from its very hilt,

Resolve to honor JESUS as the LORD,

Nor foul His emblem with a stain of guilt.

Shame not the Cross — Shame not the Cross.

 

For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.— Hebrews x, 26.

 

 

THE LAND THAT IS VERY FAR OFF.

 

To that far land, far beyond storm and cloud,

To that bright land, where sun cloth never set,—

To that life land which has nor tomb nor shroud,

And Brothers meet again who oft have met,

Joyful we go! why should we not be glad?

Joys that had Iost their joy await us there,

And nobler mansions than our Craft have made,

And all is permanent, and all is fair.

 

There we shall see the MASTER; here, indeed,

Sometimes we see Him, dimly, doubtfully,

But O, His lineaments we scarcely heed,

So clouded is the soul, so weak the eye!

But there, in Heaven's Orient displayed,

His faithful all around Him we shall meet,

Shall hear, shall see, shall evermore be glad.

 

Thronging and singing at the MASTER'S feet.

 

Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.—ISAIAH xxxiii, 17.

 

43
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

  THE TEMPLARS' LINKS OF LOVE.

 

Flaunting our Banners on the breeze,

Flashing the mystic steel above,

The Knights of GOLGOTHA are these,

And linked in holy links of love.

 

Stained with the dust of many a clime,

Weary and travel-worn we are,

But see how gleams the Cross sublime!

In CHRIST we make the Holy War.

 

Ah, who can speak our warrior bliss,

Bound in a blood-cemented chain!

Our life has had no scene like this,

And few will see the like again.

 

Hands, in a mighty union grasp,

Voice, take the courteous Knightly tone,—

Let hearts in love of CHRIST enclasp,

For soon this happy time is gone!

THOU, who on cruel cross tree died,

THOU, who from rocky tomb arose,

0 be in life the Templar's GUISE,

In death his crown and sweet REPOSE!

The links of love, the links of love,

The Knights of GOLGOTHA are these,

Linked in the holy links of love.

 

The music to this was composed by Brother H. S. Perkins. The song is inscribed to Sir  Theodore T. Gurney, of Chicago, Illinois.

 

THE WORD WE GIVE YOU.

 

Off gauntlets, Boys! show naked palms!

Left foot in front! come nearer still!

The Order takes you to her arms

And holds you with a will.

 

Off gauntlets! hand in hand combine!

Left foot in front! you know the sign!

Low breath.—no cowan must divine,

The word we give you!

 

44


THE MASON RV OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOT).

 

MASONIC BALLADS OF THE CIVIL WAR.

 

The writer begs to include in the military department of the volume a few pieces suggested by the awful scenes of the civil war of 1861-5. Among the dead upon every battle field were men whose feet had hastened upon the loving errand, whose knees had knelt in the availing prayer, whose breasts had pressed kindred breasts in the interchange of holy secrets, whose hands had sustained the falling brother, whose instructive tongues had whispered the generous counsel to attentive ears. Out of his own band of Masonic acquaintance the dead were reckoned by hundreds, perhaps thousands, and it is not strange that, without venturing to intrude any political views upon the reader, he should ask to insert a few of the poetic suggestions of that darksome period, when death reigned supreme over the land.

 

    WE SWEAR TO BE TRUE TO A BROTHER.

 

Dear Friends of the Square, let us cherish the faith,

Though broken and torn every other!

REMEMBER THE vow;—we swore unto death

We would cling, hand and heart, to a Brother!

Then raise up to God, up to God the left hand!

With mine join, with mine join the other!

Though war blow the blast, and with death strew the land,

WE SWEAR TO BE TRUE TO A BROTHER!

 

The EAST lends its light, though the world is at war;

The SOUTH shines in glory and beauty;

The WEST gently smiles o'er fields drenched in gore, —

They teach to the Mason his duty!

The Badge of the Craft is unsullied as yet —

From war's dust and blood let us fold it!

The Page of our History, brilliant with light;

Let's swear thus in honor to hold it!

GREAT GOD! from Thy Throne view the nation at strife!

THY GAVEL, must heal this disorder!

Send Peace o'er the land! give Refuge and Life!

Be Thou, LORD, our Saviour and Warder!

 

Through all the strife which deluged our land in blood, while other bonds and covenants were nullified, the BOND OF FREEMASONRY remained intact. Composed at the opening of the war and set to the music of Bradbury, this song was scattered by tens of thousands through the knapsacks both of the gray and the blue, and sung in every variety of voice. May we not believe that the animosities of war were in some degree softened by the influence of these sentiments?

 

45
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

        WORDS OF PEACE AND LOVE.

 

Now, while the thunder peal of battle is heard,

Earth with the tramping of legions is stirred,

Turn from the battle, Brothers, take from above,

WORDS OF PEACE AND LOVE! 

 

Hearts of consolation, bide ye the vow!

Hands, never weary in charity now!

Tongues rich in sympathy, oh, take from above

WORDS OF PEACE AND LOVE! 

Blood like a river flowing, smokes o'er the plain;

Tears, bitter weeping,— oh, who can refrain!

Stay, stay the slaughter, Brothers, stay this distress,

Speak the WORDS OF PEACE! 

Thus speaks the TROWEL, Brothers, thus speaks the LINE,

Thus speaks the COMPASS and the SYMBOL DIVINE;

Each bears its message on the white wings of Peace,

Bids all warring cease.

 

Composed at an early period of the war, when hopes (alas, how illusory!) were entertained that compromises might be effected and the strife closed.

 

NEVER SLIGHT A HAILING BROTHER.

 

Never slight a hailing brother—

Be it Blue or Gray he wear;

Never ask his creed or country,

So he's faithful to the Square;

Only know he's true and faithful

To the solemn vow he swore,

And then a generous hand extend him

As in peaceful days of yore.

 

Sad the strife, and fearful, Brother,

Almost hopeless seems the end;

Some have felt its utmost horror,

In the loss of home and friend;

Yet the fire and shot have left us

Even stronger than we were

And oh! this day Freemasons conquer,

Faithful, faithful to the Square.

 

46


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

When sweet peace shall bless us, Brother,

And the fire and shot have ceased,

Then we'll strive not to remember

All the cruel things that passed;

But there's one thing we'll forget not,

While a memory we bear;

It is the sacred tie so cherished

By the Brothers of the Square.

 

Composed and sung at an assembly of Masons held at Memphis, Tennessee, in the of 1863, in which both Federal and Confederate soldiers were present. The air is Mr. Root’s "Just Before the Battle, Mother."

 

THE WASTINGS OF WAR.

 

How many a strong right hand that grappled ours

In truest faith;

How many a generous heart, with mercy filled,

Lies low in death!

How many a beaming eye, that caught the light

From the better shore;

How many a tongue that thrilled our inmost chords

Will speak no more!

How many a seat where sat the good and true

Is vacant now!

How many a foot in mercy's quest that flew

No more shall go!

How many a knee that bent with ours in prayer,

Or prayed alone,

Has vanished from our mystic brotherhood,

And gone—and gone

To the Celestial Lodge, the Land of Peace,

And Light, and Song,

Where war and bloodshed have no entering,

Nor vice, nor wrong!

Where the Supreme GRAND MASTER wise presides,

No blight, nor curse,

And keeps, in holy welcome, crowned and blest,

A place for us!

 

The will of God is done—

Their mortal race is run —

Beneath the circling sun

 

47
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

They're seen no more;

Their bright and genial word

Can never more be heard

On earthly shore.

 

Remains there naught of them except the dust

Wherewith is mingled Masons' dearest trust.

 

Oh, brave and true, farewell!

Though south winds make your knell,

And sprigs of cypress fell

Upon your grave In memory shall abide

The gallant ones who died

Our land to save;

No better place to die beneath the sun,

No better time than where our duty's done.

 

In reply to a copy of this sent to President Lincoln, a most complimentary letter was received.

 

       COMING HOME TO DIE.

 

The war-worn soldier leaves

The camp where comrades lie;

Alas, his cheeks, how deathly pale!

Alas, his limbs, they bend and fail!

He's coming home to die!

The last tattoo yet lingers on his ear,

The last command the dying brave shall hear.

 

The heavy, mournful look,

The melancholy eye;

He's thinking of his comrades now

Who went with him a year ago,

Who went with him to die.

 

Their joyful shouts yet linger on his ear,

Their songs and revelings he seems to hear.

 

Meet him with cheering words

Hands full of sympathy;

Throw wide your doors in welcoming;

Let woman's love her graces fling

Around him ere he die.

 

He dies for woman's love and woman's faith;

Her honor lives in that brave patriot's death.

 

48


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

Now go with trumpets forth,

Let drum and fife reply;

Join, oh, ye patriots, round the grave

Of him, the generous and the brave,

Who homeward came to die.

 

The last tattoo has beat upon his ear,

The last command the fallen brave shall hear.

 

Set to music, and largely used in the funeral services of the heroes whose returned bodies were made occasions of public honors.

 

HYMN OF THE MASON SOLDIERS.

 

Brothers, met from many a nation

Far away from home,

Men of every rank and station,

Round this altar come.

 

Bring your hearts, so full of feeling;

Join your hands, so true;

Swear, ye sons of truth and honor,

Naught shall sever you.

 

War's dark cloud will vanish,—

Joy to EAST and WEST,

Oh, Brothers! Though the land is full of weeping,

Masons, Masons still are blest.

 

Come, forgetting every sorrow,

LEVEL bring, and SQUARE;

Leave all trouble to to-morrow;

Each the COMPASS bear;

Pass a TROWEL o'er the discord;

Wear the LAMBSKIN white;

Brothers, one more happy meeting

In our Lodge to-night.

 

In the circle here extended,

Shadowy forms appear;

With our loving spirits blended,

Dead ones, ah, how dear!

 

49


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

Dead on many a field of battle

Lost to friends and home,

Yet in Mason's love surviving,

Round this altar come.

 

When to distant homes returning,

We shall say farewell,

And shall cease the tender yearning,

Now our bosoms feel.

 

Prattling lips and sweet caresses,

All the joys of home,

Will bring back the loving circle,

Round this altar come.

 

In camp, hospital, and on the march, the "Friends of the Square " in both armies, were wont during their campaigns, to enliven the sad hours by singing this " Hymn of the Mason Soldiers”  as arranged to Brother Henry Tucker's melody, "When this Cruel War is Over."

 

 

  THE SHORTENING CHAIN.

 

War's hand has sorely tried our Brotherhood;

They sleep on every hard-fought battle plain,

They who around our Altars loving stood,

Shall never stand at Mason's side again.

The sinewy grip's relaxed, the tongue is mute,

Death's heavy fetters clog the willing foot.

 

The Chain is shortening, where they once were found;

Close in, close up! the Gavel calls in vain;

The song has lost, ah, many a well known sound —

Brothers, the louder sing the mystic strain!

Though we and all our works shall pass away,

Freemasonry must never know decay!

Thank God, and yet again thank God, a few

Of the old love-warmed Brotherhood abide!

A few whose charitable hands will do

Whate'er their hearts may prompt of generous deed.

 

For such as I have found on life's hard road,

I humbly, and yet gratefully, thank God! 

 

Written in 1863.

 

50

 


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

      THE COLOR GUARD.

 

Hurrah, the noble color guard,

How grandly they are led!

Though many fall by steel and ball,

Right gallantly they tread!

Hurrah, the eagle points the way,

And never be it said,

That living soldier fought to-day,

Less bravely than the dead.

 

Hurrah, through storms of shot and shell

The colors proudly fly,

The patriot marks their progress well,

And follows, though he die;

The dead behind, the foe before.

 

Above, the pitying sky,

And hark, o'er all the cannon's roar,

Hurrah,—'tis victory! 

 

The colors that so proudly flew

Are blackened now, and torn;

The color guard, alas, how few

Of all who hailed the morn!

But yet, hurrah, the foemen fly,

The bloody day is won,

And other gallant forms supply

Their place whose deeds are done!

 

 

MASONIC REFLECTIONS IN A MILITARY PRISON.

 

Pining in the prison cell,

Those we cherished long and well;

Brothers of the mystic light

In the dungeon's gloom to-night;

Brothers of the perfect square,

On the damp ground, cold and bare,

Far from home and hope removed,

Brothers fondly, truly loved.

 

Prisoners, as they sadly muse,

Do they ever think of us?

Do the memories of the tie

Woven strong by Masonry,

 

51


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

Enter in the dungeon's gloom

Bearing thoughts of Masons' home,

Masons' song, and Masons' light?

Is it so with them to-night?

 

We can almost hear the sigh

And the groan of the reply;

Listen to the dungeon's voice:

"Memories of mystic joys,

Sweet illusions of my cell,

Emblems prized and pondered well,

Words of sweetest, sunniest cheer,

Signs expressing truth so dear!"

 

While we pray, then be our prayer

Fervent for the prisoner;

While we sing, let every note

Name the absent, not forgot;

While refreshment hours we join,

To their memory drink the wine;

And the toast of all the best

Be, "Our captives, soon released!"

 

This effusion was a marked favorite of Brother General Stephen A. Hurlburt, of Illinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

52


THE UTTERANCES OF THE SWORD.

 

A DRAMATIC POEM,

 

EMBODYING, IN NINETEEN DEMONSTRATIONS, THE AUTHORIZED MOVEMENTS

OF THE SWORD EXERCISE OF KNIGHTS TEMPLAR.

 

And the king said, Bring me a sword.—I KINGS iii, 24. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.—ISAIAH ii, 4. Take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.—EPHESIANS vi. is. Galeatum sero duelli pœnitet.—JUVENAL.

 

 

F The Tactical works authorizing these movements are those most in favor among American Knights Templar, such as the Manuals of Grant. Meyer, Welch, Loder, Ruckels, Garfield, Eddy, Robinson, etc.

 

GENERAL DIRECTIONS FOR USE.

 

 

1. It is well to have some officer (the Eminent Commander, for instance) to give the word of command, but if it is not convenient the Demonstrator himself may do so.

 

2. The word "Sword" (not "Swords") is used in the words of command.

 

3. The time necessary for the full recital of the poem is from twelve to fifteen minutes.

 

4. A slight delay is necessary after the word of command, to give proper effect to the lines.

 

5. In several instances two or three movements described in the Tactics are embodied here in

one motion, that greater effect may be given to the words.

 

 

 

53


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE UTTERANCES OF THE SWORD.

 

The favor with which my poem THE MASTER COMETH (1873) was received, awakened in me the ambition to do something better. I longed to produce a work worthier the FELLOWSHIP OF THE SWORD, whose white tents are dotting the Masonic arena in every jurisdiction of our country. I thought to compose something nearer the exalted theory of "The Freemasonry of Christ the Lord,"—a poem, to be elaborately wrought, and demonstrated in nineteen parts by those picturesque movements of the Sword which are the chief attractions of the Templar's Exercise. Leisure was afforded me in the summer of 1882, and here is the result.

 

My concept will appear upon perusal of the composition. Before me I set an image of a healthy, sober, soldierly figure, standing squarely before an audience of Templar Knights, and so expanding the lessons of the cross-hilt Sword, so intimating, by tone and gesture, the esotery of the Templar rituals, that the initiate will gain more light and the uninitiate more desire for light in the magnanimous branch of Freemasonry. The test has been applied in the delivery of the piece in Boston, New York, Chicago and elsewhere, also before the Grand Commandery of Kentucky, which courteously accepted the Dedication. I only add that in using the word "Demonstration," at the head of each of the nineteen parts, I refer to the definition of the term, "an expression of feeling by outward signs."

 

The finest historical figure of a Sword is that of Arthur's EXCALIBUR, and I cannot more worthily close this page than to copy Mr. Tennyson's lines describing it. The passage is from "The Idyls of the King," "The Passing of Arthur," where the dying warrior directs Sir Bedivere to restore the noble weapon to the waters whence it came:

 

. . . . "Take my brand Excalibur,

Which was my pride.... take Excalibur

And fling him far into the middle mere;

Watch what thou seest, and lightly bring me word."

Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran,

And leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged

Among the bulrush beds, and clutched the Sword,

And strongly wheeled and threw it. The great brand

Made lightnings in the splendor of the moon,

And flashing round and round, and whirl'd in an arch,

Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,

Seen where the moving isles of winter shock

By night, with noises of the northern sea;

So flashed and fell the brand Excalibur.

But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm

Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,

And caught him by the hilt and brandished him

Three times, and drew him under in the mere.

 

            The sword exercise of itself is an elegant and manly accomplishment, developing gracefulness and activity, while it imparts suppleness to the limbs, strength to the muscles and quickness to the eye; and it is a source of surprise to many, as well to Masons as non-Masons, that while the marches and evolutions of the Templar Commanderies are so thoroughly taught that no further improvement seems possible, the use of the sword is comparatively little regarded. In earlier days the manner of a skillful swordsman was grave, graceful and decorous. The most undaunted and energetic courage was marked by the greatest modesty, and never until the moment of trial arrived was the full man made manifest.

 

54


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

THE FIRST DEMONSTRATION (IN EIGHT MOTIONS).

 

DRAW SWORD.

 

 

Come out,1 come out,2 thou glittering brand!3

Obey a Christian Knight's command! 4

Inspire a Templar's hand!

Celestial signs, thou sword, reveal5

In cut6 and flash7 of sacred steel,

As in the ancient Band! 8

As when, before the SAVIOUR'S shrine,

Each Templar breathed his countersign!

 

FIG. 1. FIG. 2.

              

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. With the left hand seize the scabbard near the top, and press it against the thigh; with the right grasp the hilt and bring it a little forward. Draw the sword until the right forearm is horizontal, as in Figure 1. (In some Manuals it is directed to begin with the HAND SALUTE, which is made by extending the right hand its full length, palm upward, finger forward, and then grasping the hilt as above; a graceful performance.)

 

2. Complete the sword drawing with a quick motion, raising the right arm to its full extent, at an angle of forty-five degrees, with the body ever square to the front.

 

3. Turn the sword and bring it to the PRESENT, as in Figure 3, explained in DEMONSTRATION II.

 

4. Come to the CARRY, as in Figure 2, the sword being vertical against the right shoulder, edge in front the grip inclosed with thumb and forefinger the left side of the grip and the thumb against the thigh; left arm nearly extended; the other fingers extended and joined in rear of the grip, the elbow near the body. This is the most natural and manly of all military positions. (The English method of drawing the foil, which is much like the Templar's Sword, is to advance the right foot slightly to the front, take the scabbard with the left hand, raise the right elbow as high as the shoulder, seize the hilt with right hand, nails turned inward, and having drawn the foil, pass it with vivacity over the head in a semicircle, and bring it down to the guard.)

 

5. Raise the sword vertically above the head, executing the movement with spirit.

 

6. Flourish the sword to the left.

 

7. Flourish the sword to the right.

 

8. Return to the CARRY as in Figure 2.

 

THE SECOND DEMONSTRATION (IN THREE MOTIONS).

 

Oh, Prince Emmanuel, Son of God, 1

From this far-off and humble sod,

Once by thy gentle footsteps trod,

Thee, JESUS, we salute! 2

Omniscient KING, behold our Band

As with this emblematic brand,

Our work we execute!

Each movement of the Knightly Sword

Shall tell of THEE, thou Templar's LORD! 3

 

 

PRESENT SWORD.

 

 

 

FIG. 3.

FIG. 4.

            L

55


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.—1. Come from the CARRY to the PRESENT, as in Figure 3. This brings the sword to the front, the hand so high that the cross hilt is opposite the chin and six inches in front of it; the back of the hand to front; right forearm resting along the side and breast; elbow against the body; end of hilt nearly against the breast; thumb on the back of the grip to the right; the blade inclined to the front at an angle of twenty-five or thirty degrees from the perpendicular.

 

2. Make the OFFICER's SALUTE as Figure 4, by dropping the point of the sword near the ground (not touching it), and on a line with the right foot, the arm extended so that the right hand is near the right thigh with the back to the rear; arm extended; flat of the sword to the front; body plumb and square to front.

 

3. Come to the CARRY. DEMONSTRATION II should be made with a subdued and reverential voice and manner. If any Christian Knight objects, upon Unitarian principles, to the expressions "Son of God" and "Omniscient Christ," he is at liberty to substitute others more in harmony with his views.

 

THE THIRD DEMONSTRATION (IN THREE MOTIONS).

 

 

SUPPORT SWORD.

 

 

Embattled hosts are pressing

Along the serried line,

Their venomed darts distressing

The Guardians of the SHRINE.

Support, brave Knights, 1 with dauntless mind!2

What though the foemen's banner flaunt!

Little we reck, upon the wind,

Blasphemous word and taunt! 3

 

 

FIG. 5.

 

 

EXPLANATORY Notes.— 1. First motion from the CARRY: Bring the sword vertically to the front of the center of the body, the cross six inches from the breast.

 

2. Second motion: Bear the sword to the left side, the cross opposite the hollow of the elbow; with the left hand grasp the right elbow, the thumb over and resting on the forearm of the right; the blade perpendicular (Figure 5). (Some Monitors give PORT SWORD, as in Figure 6, for the SUPPORT.)

 

3. Seize the blade without deranging its position, with the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, the left elbow remaining close to the body as a pivot. Carry the sword vertically, with both hands, to its place at a CARRY, fingers extended, pressing the sword gently against the hollow of the shoulder, hand at the height of the shoulder, its back to the front, elbow near the body. Then drop the left hand to the side.

 

Guardians of the.Shrine. The Templars were appropriately styled Guardians of the Shrine, for they sentineled the highways that led to it, they stood as watchmen at every gate opening to it and day and night kept guard upon the Sepulcher of their Lord.

Upon the wind. The word wind in the seventh line, is made, by poetic license, to rhyme with mind.

 

As remarked before, the exercise of the sword is an elegant and manly accomplishment, developing gracefulness and activity, while it imparts suppleness to the limbs, strength to the muscles, and quickness to the eye. There are few sights in Disciplina, ancient or modern, more attractive than a line of Knights upon the position indicated in Figure 5. They seem to be waiting in the calmness and strength of Christian faith, whatever fate has marked out for them. In the early allusions to the Order of Rhodes and Malta, this figure was often used. Upon this isolated rock

 

56


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGIITHOOD.

 

 

at Rhodes, cut off from all the Christian world, a position thrust, as it were, into the very face of their implacable enemy, the Moslem, the little group of "Chevaliers of Jesus " held their lines steadily. All true hearts must honor a lofty and fearless spirit that seeks no selfish end, but braves all opposition from the noblest impulse.

 

 

With force of arms we nothing can;

Full soon were we downridden;

But for us fights the proper MAN,

Whom God Himself bath bidden.

Ask ye who is this same?

CHRIST JESUS IS His name,

The Lord Sabbaoth's Son;

HE, and no other one,

Shall conquer in the battle.

 

 

THE FOURTH DEMONSTRATION (IN THREE MOTIONS).

 

PORT SWORD.

 

 

To the ardent Pilgrims journeying from afar, 1

Warriors enlisted in Jesus' Holy War,

'Neath the Cross the sacred WORD, 2

' Speaks the one effulgent LORD.

Purged from slavery and sin,

IN Hoc SIGNO, we come in;

Open, Warder, at the gate,

Wide to admit this conquering Band!

Thou, the KING of earthly state,

Thou, the KING of Heavenly Land! 3

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.—1. Seize the blade by the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, the left elbow remaining as a pivot, close to the body.

 

2. Bring the sword diagonally across the front of the body, flat of blade to the front and resting in the hand at the height of the breast, thumb extended in rear along the blade toward the point, the right hand grasping the hilt and nearly in front of the right hip, the edge of the sword down (Figure 6).

 

3. Return to CARRY by bringing back the sword with both hands, the left coming as high as the right armpit, and pressing the blade to its place; the fingers extended at the height of the shoulder; the elbow near the body, the back of the hand to the front. Drop the left hand to the side.

 

Neath the Cross the sacred Word. The Cross and Word here refer to objects on the Baldric. In declaiming, the speaker should give point to this passage by casting his eye upon the Cross and the inscription, In Hoc Signo Vinces, below it.

 

How far we may put faith in the legend of Constantine concerning "the Cross in the sky" will not be argued here. It is certain, however, that this emblem, the Cross, was seldom found in use before his time, and whatever motive may have actuated that astute monarch, he placed it in the form of the Greek XI upon the legendary standards in place of the eagle. The motto In Hoc Si -no Vinces, both in its Latin and Greek forms, is seen upon the coins of the immediate successors of Constantine, as early as A.D. 340. The history of the Cross itself is full of interest to the Templar. Thousands died to rescue it from the infidel. Kings and Knights fought side by side to rescue it, and dying, were buried at its foot.

 

 

57


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE FIFTH DEMONSTRATION (IN Four MOTIONS).

 

ORDER SWORD.

 

But who is this, 1 in humble weeds, with Cross and Cord and Scrip,

This man impetuous, resolved to share our fellowship?

With "pure ablutions" thoroughly washed, with "patience sorely tried,"

Waiting to have instructions from the one unerring GLAD';!

Welcome the stranger,—give him bread,—his water cruse supply;

Cheer him with comfortable words; his tears of weakness dry;

'Tis written in Heaven's Chancery2 that they who help the poor

Shall find their deeds remembered when they knock at Heaven's door. 3

 

Then cover ye their nakedness, who, poor and friendless, come!

Fling wide your Asylums, NOBLE KNIGHTS, and give the homeless home!

Strike manfully, BRAVE HEROES, when the defenseless call,

And with your comrades conquering stand, or with your comrades fall. 4

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.—1. Take position of ORDER SWORD, viz.: bring the sword point to the ground, one inch from the point of the right toe and on a line with it; the sword vertical, the right hand resting on the top, back of the hand up, first three fingers in front touching the grip, the thumb and little finger partially embracing it (Figure 7),

 

2. Raise the sword impressively, and point as if to some object in the sky above, following the movement with the eye.

 

3. Return to ORDER SWORD, as in Figure 7,

 

4. CARRY SWORD, as in Figure 2.

 

(In some tactical Manuals the movement called "Order Sword" is omitted.)

 

Tis written in Heaven's Chancery, etc. The reference is to the sublime description of the Final Judgment, divulged in Matthew xxv:

 

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

 

"For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger and ye took me in;

 

"Naked and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me; I was in prison and ye came unto

me.

 

"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered and fed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink?

 

"When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? or naked and clothed thee? . . .  And the King shall answer and say unto them, . . . Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me."

 

 

58


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD,

THE SIXTH DEMONSTRATION (IN Foci MOTIONS).

CHARGE SWORD.

Speed the spoil, the booty hasten,

Templars charge1 along the lines!

See the opposing forces shaken,

Victory to us inclines! 2

Innocent maidens, helpless orphans,

Widows destitute, forlorn,

Will you leave them all to scorn?

By the power of Christ's religion,

Templars charge, 3 nor be forsworn. 4

 

 

FIG. 8.

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Take position of CHARGE SWORD. This is to bring the right heel in rear of left; bend the left knee slightly; incline the body forward, supported principally by the Left foot; at the same time drop the point of the sword forward to the height of the belt, the right hand firmly grasping the handle, the thumb against the hip (Figure 8). This DEMONSTRATION, with necessary modifications, can also be taken on the march.

 

2. Return to position of CARRY SWORD, as in Figure 2.

 

3. CHARGE SWORD, as in Figure 8.

 

4. CARRY SWORD, as in Figure 2.

 

Speed the spoil, the booty hasten. This is a close translation of one of the most suggestive expressions in the Templars' Ritual.

 

The declarations in the Templars' Monitor concerning the three classes of bereaved ladies named above are among the finest portions of our Service. "To wield the sword in the defense of innocent maidens, destitute widows and helpless orphans" comes near to St. James' definition of "pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father." The reader cannot fail to notice the application, "To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and keep... unspotted from the world." It recalls the nervous injunctions of the Hebrew moralist six centuries earlier: "Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widows."

 

Oh pity, LORD, the widow, hear her cry!

Lonely her household lamp burns through the night;

He who possessed her heart's young sympathy

No longer lives, her portion and delight.

She looks from earth, raises her heart on high,—

Pity, oh Lord, the widow, hear her cry!

Pity, oh Lord, the orphan, hapless child!

Father and mother mourning,— view her tears,

Abandoned, lost upon earth's dreary wild;

What can relieve her anguish, what her tears?

Walking with Thee, the just, the undefiled;

Pity, oh LORD, the orphan, hapless child!

 

 

59


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE SEVENTH DEMONSTRATION ON Foop MOTIONS).

 

RIGHT-SHOULDER SWORD.

 

Here let us muse awhile on far-off scenes,

Where Templars won their earliest renown;

This very dust of Palestine was once

Bone, sinew, heart of Christian chivalry,

That fell to win CHRIST'S HOLY SEPULCHER;

O'erborne by arrogant infidels they fought, 1

All through that summer day, on Hattin's plain,

But when the night came down they slept in death;

Never GoD's glittering stars looked on such men!

 

At Acre's siege2 how strove their matchless Band!

How flew their BEAUSEANT on the morning breeze,

When wall and tower surmounted, in her streets

They sung their hymn, Non Nobis Domine,

And worshiped God, to whom the victory is!

 

Banished from Palestine, 3 the centuries flew,

And lo, at Rhodes and Malta, in the might

Of the INVINCIBLE they held their lines,

And in their island forts kept back the foe,

While nations at their prowess stood amazed!

Honor, infinite honor, to each Knight,

Upon whose lance head gleamed such grand heroic light! 4

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Make the RIGHT-SHOULDER SWORD by bringing the flat of the sword to the right shoulder, the cross as high as the armpit, the thumb nearly touching the side of the right breast, the point of the sword up to the left and rear, so as to clear the chapeau (Figure 9).

 

2. Change to SUPPORT SWORD, first by returning to the CARRY, as in Figure 2; then by two motions to the SUPPORT, as described in DEMONSTRATION III.

 

3. Return to the CARRY, as described in DEMONSTRATION III; and then to RIGHT SHOULDER, as above.

 

4. CARRY SWORD, as in Figure 2.

 

All through that summer day. This commemorates that awful scene, the battle of Hattin, July 3, 1187, when Saladin and his Saracens exterminated the Christian forces, making a second Golgotha of the beautiful plain. At Acre' s siege recalls the capture of that strong city by the Crusaders, July 12, 1191. They held it to May 20, 1291. At Rhodes and Malta. The Knights Hospitaller settled Rhodes, A.D. 1309, after their banishment from Holy Land, and held it until 1522. They occupied Malta from A.D. 1530 to 1798, when the Order was finally destroyed. During those 489 years they were indeed a bulwark against the Mohammedan powers which otherwise threatened to overthrow the Christian world. The Templars' Chronology, on later pages, gives the proper dates.

 

60


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

 

THE EIGHTH DEMONSTRATION (IN Two MOTIONS).

 

 

REAR REST SWORD.

 

 

Eloi1 'twas said on Cavalry,

Eloi, lama sabachthani,

Why hast thou, Lord, forsaken me?

Oh, when these Templar Knights shall die,

Not this their last despairing cry,

But rather, midst death's thickening gloom,

Exultant at the very tomb,

"Hail, CHRIST, EMMANUEL, we come!” 2

 

 

        

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Make the REAR REST SWORD by taking, first, the position of RIGHT SHOULDER, as in DEMONSTRATION VII; then drop the sword point to the left and rear, letting the fiat of the blade rest upon the shoulders, in the rear of the neck, at the same time raising the left hand, palm in front, and grasping the blade near the left shoulder with the fingers and thumb, holding the grip in like manner with the fingers and thumb of the right hand, elbows close to the body. Be cautious to preserve the head and shoulders square to the front (Figure 10).

 

2. Return to the CARRY.

 

The voice in this DEMONSTRATION should be held slow, deep and impressive. The speaker may bear in mind some image of that awful scene on Calvary, when "there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?... And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.... And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."

 

In contrast with this death, most terrible when viewed in its relations to the illustrious SUFFERER, the declaimer may cast his thoughts upon another scene, which occurred near the same spot, in which the protomartyr was stoned to death, "calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit! and he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this he fell asleep."

 

THE NINTH DEMONSTRATION (IN THREE MOTIONS).

FIG. 11.

 

REVERSE SWORD.

 

By the deep booming of the Templar's knell, 1

By the slow march that endeth with the grave, 2

By funeral badge, and sign, and sorrowful brow,

We mark a Templar fallen; swords reversed,

And trumpets sounding, let the dead go on!

He that bath fallen is Conqueror, while we,

The battle heat must challenge, and the strife,

Until the MASTER calls to everlasting life. 3

 

 

FIG. 11.

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Take position of REVERSE SWORD by two motions. First, raise and carry the sword vertically to the front, the elbow advanced and forming an obtuse angle (Figure 11). Then bring the point down to the front and rear, turning the Sword by a wrist movement

 

 

61


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

completely round, so that the edge will be down and the blade inclined to the rear at an angle of forty-five degrees; the hilt at the height of the shoulder, and the sword held across at the right side.

 

2. Take two or three steps forward slowly, as if in deep meditation.

 

3. CARRY SWORD, as in Figure 2, by reversing the motions first described.

 

The effort of turning the sword gracefully and securely, as in Note 1, is the most difficult of those described in these Demonstrations. The hilt must play smoothly between the thumb and two fingers, yet with a grip strong enough to preserve the sword from falling to the ground; a thing mortifying to a sensitive Knight. The second engraving required to complete the study of this movement was not at hand when this page was made up. (In some Manuals, it is required to carry the left forearm horizontally behind the back, the left palm out, clasping the blade.)

 

Hush, the Dead March wails in the people's ears;

The dark crowd moves, and there are sobs and tears;

The black earth yawns, the mortal disappears;

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

 

THE TENTH DEMONSTRATION (IN Five MOTIONS).

 

 

SWORD-ARM REST.

 

 

When JESUS doth marshal1

His ranks in accord,

He blesses each sword

With justice impartial, 2

With Valor undaunted, 3

With Mercy adored; —4

What Templar can falter

When CHRIST is his LORD? 5

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Take the SWORD-ARM REST by bringing the right hand in front of the body, the arm extended, the blade resting along the right forearm and diagonally across the body, the palm of the left hand embracing the back of the right, as in Figure 12. (In some Monitors it is required to leave the left hand at the side.)

 

2. Glance at the hilt of the Sword.

 

3. Glance at the blade of the Sword.

 

4. Glance at the point of the Sword.

 

5. Return to the CARRY, as in Figure 2, by reversing the first motion.

 

With Justice impartial, etc. These three qualities of the Christian's blade are familiar to all Templars. Not only is the Sword endowed with Faith, Hope and Charity, obvious principles, and suggesting only common thoughts, but in the hand of a valiant and magnanimous Knight it is endowed with three most excellent qualities. Its hilt is associated in the Templar's respect with JUSTICE impartial; its blade with FORTITUDE undaunted; its point with MERCY unrestrained.

Upon another page reference is made to that most renowned Sword of all history, the blade Excalibur of King Arthur. In Tennyson's poem one is saying:

 

"There likewise I beheld Excalibur,

Before him at his crowning borne, the Sword

That rose from out the bosom of the lake,

And Arthur rowed across and took it; rich

With jewels, elfin Urim, on the hilt,

Bewildering heart and eye: the blade so bright

That men are blinded by it; on one side

 

 

62


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

 

Graven in the oldest tongue of all this world

Take me: but turn the blade and ye shall see

And written in the speech ye speak yourself,

Cast me away.”. . .

 

THE ELEVENTH DEMONSTRATION (IN Two MOTIONS).

 

CROSS SWORD.

 

 

Lift up your golden heads, ye gates, 1

Lift up, ye everlasting doors,

And let the KING of GLORY pass,

KING of the upper world and ours!

How strong and mighty HE in war!

The victory HE will surely win,—

Lift up your golden heads, ye gates,

And let the KING of GLORY in! 2

 

 

FIG. 13.

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Take position of CROSS SWORD, by first coming to the Present, as in Figure 3; then plant the right foot sixteen inches straight to the front, the right knee slightly bent, at the same time raising the right hand, the arm extended, the wrist as high as the head, the Sword in prolongation of the arm, the thumb extended along the left of the grip, the hack of the Sword up. Cross the Sword, as if with an opponent's, six inches from its point, at the same instant planting the foot with a very light shock (Figure 13).

 

2. Return to the PRESENT, as in Figure 3, bringing back the foot to its former place, and then to the CARRY, as in Figure 2.

 

Lift up your heads, etc. This is suggested by these passages in the Twenty-fourth Psalm: " Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, HE. is the King of glory."

 

The style of speech in this DEMONSTRATION should be spirited, cheerful and triumphant. The eyes may be cast above, as with an exultant expression.

 

THE TWELFTH DEMONSTRATION (IN TWO MOTIONS).

 

 

 

PARADE REST.

 

 

Our MASTER, journeying o'er the hill,

Rested in noonday heat, 1

So we, the servants of His will,

Rest at our MASTER'S feet.

How gracious bends His loving gaze

Upon the faithful Band,

Whose strength and joy and hopes are His,

The expectancy of future bliss,

When we exchange the toils of this,

For rest in heavenly land. 2

 

 

63


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Carry the right foot three inches to the rear, the left knee slightly bent, resting the weight of the body principally on the right foot. Second, drop the sword point to the ground to the right, and on a line with the great toe of the left foot, parallel to the front; the sword vertical in front of the body; the fingers and thumb holding the end of the hilt, which rests in the palm of the right hand, the back of the hand up and covered by the left hand, as in Figure 14.

 

2. Return to the CARRY, as in Figure 2, bringing the right foot to its former position. The references in the first line is to John iv, 6: "Jesus, being wearied with his journey, sat.".. "And it was about the sixth hour."

 

 

THE THIRTEENTH DEMONSTRATION ON ONE MOTION).

 

 

SIR KNIGHT, KNEEL.

 

Knee, in worship at the throne

Where EMMANUEL rules alone;'

And the service of the /cirque,

By celestial chorus sung,

"Glory in the highest be,

Peace, good will eternally!"

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Kneeling is done by three motions. First, come from the CARRY to the PARADE REST, as in Figure 14. Second, draw back the right foot about twenty-eight inches to the rear. Third, kneel on the right knee so that the front of the knee and the rear of the left heel will be on a line parallel with the front, the head erect Figure 15 gives this position, save that the head in that engraving is bowed, where in the present DEMONSTRA'T'ION it should be erect.

 

The reference in the lines is to Philippians ii, 10, 11. "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST is Lord, to the glory of Gon the Father."

 

 

THE FOURTEENTH DEMONSTRATION (IN ONE MOTION). REST ON SWORD.

 

 

Rejected, 1—HE who came to save,

Despised,—the LORD of all,

Embittered in His very grave

With wormwood and with gall:

A man of sorrows, and acquaint

With grief's most agonizing plaint.

 

 

Fig. 15.

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Incline the head forward as in Figure 15. In place of the lines given above a solo singer may introduce Handel's music from The Messiah to the words of Isaiah: "He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." The effect of this is beautiful.

 

 

64


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGIITHOOD.

 

 

THE FIFTEENTH DEMONSTRATION (IN THREE MOTIONS).

 

 

SIR KNIGHT, RISE.

 

Would we, Sir Knights, be freed from care,— 1

The storm cloud vanishes in prayer: 2

One true petition, fervent, deep,

Is, to the soul, refreshing sleep;

Prayer animates the arm and heart;

Prayer points anew the Templar's dart;

And binds his powers in sweet accord

To do the bidding of the Lord. 3

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.—1. Raise the head,and assume the position indicated in DEIIONSTRAIoN XIII.

 

2. Rise up with a dignified movement, and bring the right foot to the side of the left, as in figure 14.

 

3. Take the CARRY, as in DEMONSTRATION XII.

 

THE SIXTEENTH DEMONSTRATION (IN SIX MOTIONS).

 

RETURN SWORD.

 

Perish every sword in rust, 1

Crumble, emblems, into dust,

Be our very flag accursed,

And our names forgot,

Ere we draw in evil strife,— 2

Ere we use in evil life,

Ere we haunt where sin is rife, 3

And the Lord is not!

Templars, thorny was the road

That the MAN OF SORROWS trod, 4

But, returning back to God,

Peace HE left, and love: 5

Follow peace! the way is short,

Cherish love! this life is naught,

And the last great battle fought,

Find THE LORD above! 6

Fic. t6.

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.—1. Seize the scabbard as in Figure 16, near the top with the left hand, dining it a little forward, as in Figure 1. Then bring the sword, with the blade vertical, to a int six inches in front of the left shoulder, the lower part of the hand to the height of the chin. ewer the blade across and along the left arm, the point to the rear. Turn the head slightly to the left, fixing the eyes upon the opening of the scabbard, and insert the blade, assisted by the thumb d forefinger of the left hand, until the right forearm is horizontal (Figure 16). Finally, return the blade, turn the head to the front and drop the hands to the sides. (In some Manuals it is ordered that the eyes be not cast down.

 

 

 

 

65

 

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

2. DRAW SWORD, as directed in DEMONSTRATION I, and come to the CARRY.

 

3. Raise the sword vertically, and wave it right and left as in DEMONSTRATION I.

 

4. REVERSE SWORD, as instructed in DEMONSTRATION IX.

 

5. CARRY SWORD, as in Figure 2.

 

6. RETURN SWORD, as above.

 

 

The manner of recitation of this part should be bold and forcible as possible.

 

THE SEVENTEENTH DEMONSTRATION (IN ONE MOTION).

SECURE SWORD.

PRAYER OF THE TEMPLARS.

 

Groaning in Gethsemane,— 1

Crowned from Jordan's thorny tree,—

Scourged, alas! with Roman lash,

Gory streams from every gash,—

Mocked with purple robe and reed,—

Nailed, and dying,—MASTER, heed,

And hear the TEMPLARS' PRAYER!

Now on high-exalted throne,

See THY Templars marching on!

May we feel THY presence near,

May we never, never fear!

 

 

Though we linger, though we bleed,

Though we falter, MASTER, heed,

And hear the TEMPLARS' PRAYER.

While THY Templars faithful live,

Shield, and arms, and courage give!

When Toy toil-spent Templars die,

Crowned with glorious victory,

In T11v presence, by THY side,

Us eternal rest provide!

Then, thou omnipresent LORD,

By the utterances of the sword

Grant the TEMPLARS' PRAYER!

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. The sword being in the scabbard, as at the close of DEMONSTRATtON XVI, seize the scabbard with the left hand, palm in front, thumb to the left, arm extended, and raise it, bringing the left hand in front, nearly as high as the belt, and a little to the left of the buckle, as in Figure f 1';.;z/re rv. The scabbard rests along the left forearm, the back of the hand down, the cross at the hollow of the elbow.

 

The recitation of the Templars' Prayer should be deliberate, reverential, and intoned in the manner of cathedral service. Solemn music would give effect to this DEMONSTRATION.

 

 

Fie. 17.

 

 

 

 

66


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

THE EIGHTEENTH DEMONSTRATION (IN ONE MOTION).

 

DROP SWORD.

 

No more the trenchant blade to wield, 1

No more the helmet and the shield,

The Templar's strife is o'er;

The sepulcher where Christ hath lain,

That holiest place is ours again,

To be bereft no more.

In peace we lay our weapons by,

And chant the hymns of victory.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES.— 1. Drop the scabbard to the side and place the left hand upon it, as before advised.

 

The allusion in the fourth line is to the nominal purpose of the Crusades, viz.: to rescue the Holy Sepulcher from the hands of the enemy. This attempt cost the Christian world millions of human lives, and the impoverishment of all the business interests of Europe.

 

 

THE NINETEENTH DEMONSTRATION (IN ONE MOTION).

 

SIR KNIGHT, YOUR VALEDICTORY.

 

The earth may reel from trembling pole to pole,

The fiery billows in their fury roll,

But, fixed on CHRIST, the Templar Host will stand,

And brave the terrors of the burning land:—

Hail and Salute! 1

 

Winter may bind the earth in icy chain,

Spring may unloose the laughing streams again;

Summer may heat, and autumn heap the land,

While fixed on CHRIST the Templar Host will stand: —

Hail and Salute! 1

 

The enemies of law may rouse their ire,

And threaten us again with rack and fire,

We laugh to scorn the persecuting hand,

And, fixed on CHRIST, the Templar Host will stand.—

Hail and Salute! 1

 

God speed you, Brothers of Golgotha's Cross!

God keep you from all detriment and loss!

Ever, by gates Celestial be ye fanned,

And, fixed on CHRIST, your Templar Host shall stand:—

Hail and Salute! 1

 

 

67


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

1. Take the chapeau (or cap) by the front piece with the left hand; raise it from the head and place it on the right shoulder, slightly inclined to the front; then replace it on the head and drop the hand to the side.

 

This completes the Poem. It is courteously offered the devotees of Masonic chivalry as a combination of declamation and military exercise, uniting the glorious hopes of Christian Knight-hood with the graceful, heathful and suggestive movements of the cross-hilt Sword. To render it with due effect demands much practice, considerable suppleness of tongue and limbs, and a knowledge of the ritualistic allusions pervading every line. Its preparation has cost much labor, both at midnight and at noon, but in the conclusion the writer feels a glow of satisfaction in the hope that Templars, after he has left the field, will find in it a reference to the adage:

Placcat hoar ini quidquid Deo placuit.

 

REMARKS CONCERNING THE TEMPLAR'S SWORD.

 

   (From an Address delivered at Washington, D. C., March 28, 1860, on the reception of the Honorarium of a Templar's Sword from the Grand Encampment of the United States.)

 

There is a romance, if I may so express it, in all past time attending the Sword. Scarcely do we enter upon the Mosaic account of the Creation ere we find that "the Lord God placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life"; showing that as an implement of war or defense, the SWORD was the earliest weapon known.

 

Throughout the Old Testament, the Sword is conspicuous as a weapon. We find mention of that most mythic of all mythical SWORDS, inasmuch as it cloth not appear at all, and is only known in the interpretation of a dream as the SWORD of Gideon the son of Joash, and is afterward proclaimed as the SwoRD of the Lord and of Gideon.

 

As an evidence of the careful manner in which that weapon, when the property of any noted individual, was preserved, we see that the SWORD of Goliath was wrapped up in cloth, and kept behind the ephod by the priest of the Most High. In modern times the Swords of Frederick, of Charlemagne, of Napoleon, etc., have been carefully preserved. Even among the disciples of Jesus one was armed with a Swoxv which he used most valorously in defense of his Master.

 

In the history, real and fanciful, of past heroes, the SWORD hears no insignificant part. That chivalrous leader of the olden Knighthood, King Arthur, bore a Swoxv, whose miraculous reception is told in many ways, the SWORD EXCALIBUR.

 

From the days of the patriarchs, through the whole range of history both ancient and profane, we see standing out in hold relief the Ilero and his SWORD. We have all seen the SWORD of Washington as preserved in our national archives by the care of his grateful countrymen.

 

Every true Templar holds his Sword under certain solemn conditions; no true patriot can receive one without attaching to it duties sacredly to be regarded.

 

The word SWORD in its original signifies to lay waste, and this meaning is forcibly shown in the account of the assassination of Abner, disemboweled by one stroke of the Jewish sword. "To gird on the sword" implies the declaration of war; "to smite with the edge of the sword " signified a passage of arms to the hilt.

 

68

 


THE MASONRY OF CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD.

 

CHRONOLOGY OF TEMPLAR MATTERS.

 

These tables have been condensed at great labor by the writer, and are offered as a useful digest of Templar Chronology:

 

323, July 3, decisive victory of Constantine over Maxentius.

615, Feast of Holy Rood (or Cross) instituted.

1096, December 23, Godfrey's army reached Constantinople.

1097, June 20, Nice captured by Crusaders.

1097, July 4, Crusaders' great victory at Dorylmum.

1098, June 27, Antioch captured by Crusaders.

1099, March, Crusaders left Antioch for Jerusalem.

1099, June 10, Crusaders' first view of Jerusalem.

1099, June 15, Crusaders' first assault on Jerusalem.

1099, July 15, Jerusalem captured by Crusaders.

1099, July 23, Godfrey elected King of Jerusalem.

1101, Baldwin I crowned at Bethlehem.

1107, King Sigurd, of Norway, visited Holy Land.

1118, Hugh de Payens installed Grand Master.

1187, July 3, 4, disastrous battle of Hattin.

1191, July 12, Acre captured by the Crusaders.

1192, January 11, Crusaders captured Ascalon.

1199, April 6, King Richard I (Coeur de Lion) died.

1249, June, battle at Damietta, Egypt.

1291, May 20, Acre finally lost to Christians.

1307, October 13, De Molay arrested in France.

1309, Rhodes captured by Knights of St. John.

1310, May 12, fifty-four Knights Templar burnt at Paris.

1312, April 3, Order of Knights Templar extinguished in France.

1313, March 18, De Molay burnt at the stake.

1314, July 25, battle of Bannockburn.

1376, June 8, Edward the Black Prince died.

1522, December 25, Rhodes captured by the Turks.

1530, May 24, Knights of Rhodes occupied Malta.

1530, September 8, Turks retired, defeated, from Malta.

1769, March 2, De Witt Clinton born.

1771, October 30, Thomas Smith Webb born.

1798, June 12, Malta surrendered to the French.

1798, November 24, Paul, Emperor of Russia, Grand Master Malta.

1800, September 4, Benjamin B. French born.

1804, May 6, Grand Encampment Massachusetts and Rhode Island organized.

1814, June 18, Grand Encampment New York organized.

1816, June 22, General Grand Encampment United States organized.

1817, January 15, Theodore S. Parvin born.

1819, September 16, Second Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, New York.

1819, July 6, Thomas Smith Webb died.

1823, November 27, Grand Encampment Virginia organized.

1826, June 13, Grand Encampment New Hampshire organized.

1826, September 18, Third Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, New York.

1827, September 13, Grand Encampment Connecticut organized.

1828, February 11, De Witt Clinton died.

1829, September 4, Fourth Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, New York.

1832, November 29, Fifth Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, Baltimore, Md.

1835, December 7. Sixth Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, Washington, D.C.

1838, March 4, Theodore S. Parvin initiated.

1838, Sept. 12, Seventh Conclave General Grand Encampment U. S., Boston, Mass.

 

69

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

1841, January 5, reestablishment Knights Malta by Emperor of Austria.

1841, September 14, Eighth Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, New York.

1843, April I, Jonathan Nye died.

1843, October 24, Grand Encampment Ohio organized.

1844, Sept. to, Ninth Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, New Haven, Conn.

1847, Sept. 14, Tenth Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, Columbus, Ohio.

1847, October 5, Grand Encampment Kentucky organized.

1850, Sept. to, Eleventh Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, Boston, Mass.

1851, May 5, Grand Encampment Maine organized.

1851, August 14, Grand Encampment Vermont organized.

1853, Sept. 13, Twelfth Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, Lexington, Ky.

1854, April 4, Grand Encampment Indiana organized.

1854, April 12, Grand Encampment Pennsylvania organized.

1855, January 19, Grand Encampment Texas organized.

1856, Sept. 9, Thirteenth Conclave General Grand Encampment United States, Hartford, Conn.

1856, October 6, James J. Loring died.

1857, January 21, Grand Commandery Mississippi organized.

1857, October 27, Grand Commandery Illinois organized.

18J7, April 7, Grand Commandery Michigan organized.

1858, August to, Grand Commandery California organized.

1859, September 13, Fourteenth Conclave Grand Encampment United States, Chicago, Ill.

1859, October 12, Grand Commandery Tennessee organized.

1859, October 20, Grand Commandery Wisconsin organized.

1860, February 4, Grand Commandery New Jersey organized.

1860, April 25, Grand Commandery Georgia organized.

1860, May 20, Grand Commandery Missouri organized.

1860, December 1, Grand Commandery Alabama organized.

1861, September 9, Charles Gilman died.

1861, December 24, Samuel G. Risk died.

1862, September 5, Fifteenth Conclave Grand Encampment United States, New York.

1864, February 12, Grand Commandery Louisiana organized.

1864, June 6, Grand Commandery Iowa organized.

1865, September 5, Sixteenth Conclave Grand Encampment United States, Columbus, Ohio.

1865, October 25, Grand Commandery Minnesota organized.

1865, December 22, Archibald Bull died.

1866, January 5, William B. Hubbard died.

1868, September 15, Seventeenth Conclave Grand Encampment United States, St. Louis, Mo.

1868, December 29, Grand Commandery Kansas organized.

1870, August 12, Benjamin B. French died.

1871, January 23, Grand Commandery Maryland organized.

1871, September 19, Eighteenth Conclave Grand Encampment United States, Baltimore, Md.

1871, December 28, Grand Commandery Nebraska organized.

1872, March 25, Grand Commandery Arkansas organized.

1874, February 25, Grand Commandery West Virginia organized.

1874, September, Nineteenth Conclave Grand Encampment United States, New Orleans, La.

1876, March 14, Grand Commandery Colorado organized.

1876, August to, National Grand Priory Canada organized.

1877, August 28, Twentieth Conclave Grand Encampment United States, Cleveland, Ohio.

1878, March 21, Orrin Welch died.

1880, August 17, Twenty-first Conclave Grand Encampment United States, Chicago, Ill.

1883, August 21, Twenty-second Conclave Grand Encampment U. S., San Francisco, Cal.

1886, September 21, Twenty-third Conclave Grand Encampment U. S., St. Louis, Mo.

1889, October 8, Twenty-fourth Conclave Grand Encampment U. S., Washington, D. C.

1892, August 9, Twenty-fifth Conclave Grand Encampment U. S., Denver, Colo.

1895, August 27, Twenty-sixth Conclave Grand Encampment U. S., Boston, Mass.

 

 

70
blank page


 

 


PART SECOND.

 

 

SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

IN THIS PART IS GIVEN

A SERIES OF ODES AND POEMS,

 

 

Embodying emblems and symbols of Masonry, the technical phrases, the myths and traditions, the festival pieces, the references to Lodge nomenclature and numerous offerings concerning death and the dead.

 

In so great variety of productions will be found appropriate hymns for cornerstone and cap-stone ceremonials, for the consecration of halls and cemeteries, for the semi-annual feasts of the Order, and for all other incidents that agitate the Lodge.

 

Many of the shorter pieces in this division of the book have been made subjects of musical compositions by famous song writers, among whom may be named without impropriety, H. R. Palmer, Mus. Doc., of New York, Geo. F. Root, of Illinois, A. C. Gutterson, of Minnesota, Prof. Butter-field of Illinois, Ossian E. Dodge, of Minnesota, M. H. Morgan, of Chicago, Ill., Henry C. Tucker, of New York, J. T. Baker, of Massachusetts, H. S. Perkins, of Chicago, Ill., and others of our own country, with some in England.

 

A few pieces, such as " Our Vows," etc., written only for recitation in tyled assemblies, are properly omitted here.

 

And yet the world goes round and round,

And the genial seasons run,

And ever the truth comes uppermost

And ever is justice done.

 

—Brother Charles Mackay.

 

71


 

 

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

THE SYMBOLISMS OF THE LODGE.

 

 

THE LODGE FOCUS.

 

Oh, when before the Lodge we stand,

Its walls hung round with mystic lines,

And for the loving, listening band

Draw truth and light from those designs;

See ON THE RIGHT the Open Word,

Which lendeth grace to every thought!

See ON THE LEFT the Mason's lord,

'Tis chosen well, the sacred spot.

 

For there our youthful minds received

The earliest impress of that light,

Whose perfect radiance, believed,

Will lead the soul to heavenly height.

Around the spot there clusters much

Of Masons' lore; and dull were he

Who, standing in the light of such,

Cannot unveil our Mystery.

 

If in instruction's voice there come

A tone of hatred; if, alas,

The love and music of our home

Be changed to discord and disgrace,—

'Tis that the speaker has forgot

The solemn words first uttered there,—

His feet have left the sacred spot,

His heart and tongue no wisdom bear.

 

But when the soul is kindled high

With love, such love as angels know

And when the tongue trips lightly by

The truth and love our emblems show;

When round the Lodge, the eye and cheek

Prove how congenial is the theme,

No further need the speaker seek

Good spirits stand and speak with him!

 

It is admitted by lecturers that the true acoustical focus of the Lodge is near the northeast corner. This is attributed to the fact that it was there each of us received those first impressions on

 

73


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

which to build our future moral and Masonic edifice. Certainly in no other part of the room can the speaker give utterance, so truly and eloquently, to the genuine sentiments of the Order; and the unhappy debates which sometimes disturb the harmony of our meetings would be obviated were the speakers required to take their stand at the focus of the Lodge!

 

THE SQUARE.

 

In the Holy Land, Oriental Masons teach that while the SUPREME ARCHITECT used the Gauge, Gavel, Plumb, Level, and other working tools in building the earth, yet when HE built the heavens HE used the SQUARE alone.

 

'Twas in Damascus on an April day;

In the bazars where pilgrims congregate

I met an aged Mason; on his head

The turban of Mohammed, large and green;

In his right hand the mystic almond rod,

Such as wise Jacob bore, and Moses bore

When the Red Sea was cleft beneath his hand.

 

Mustapha was his name; tall, gaunt and gray,

Yet his black eye, undimmed, flashed into mine;

And his strong hand exchanged the mystic grip

With sinewy force.

 

He was my senior by some forty years,

And sixty years a Mason. He had thought

More deeply than the most of the intent

Of Solomon's wise imagery so quaint and old,

And how it makes its impress on the soul.

I asked him which of all these emblems wise

That glorify our Trestle Board, is best?

Which gives divinest light? which points to us

Most surely the Great Master of the Craft?

In quick reply, he laid that sinewy hand

Upon the SQUARE. It is my favorite type,

One that in a thousand Lodges I have loved

To moralize upon the Trying Square.

 

He took it up, and with great reverence

Raised it toward the Throne. " By this," he said,

"The Heaven of Heavens in perfect order fell,

When God took out the Master's implements

From His own chest, and built the universe!

By THIS the radiant Throne—by THIS the Courts

Of His own glory were constructed sure!

 

 

74


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

"Earth and the stars were fashioned well by THESE,

The Gavel, Trowel, Level, Line and Rule;

The Lodge Celestial by the SQUARE alone!"

 

This was the legend that the Arab told.

I partly do believe it, for I see

In this full angle and these perfect lines

What in no other working tool appears.

And noting that you choose this honored type

To give your Lodge a name, I charge you now,

Dear brethren, KEEP WITHIN IT     Do your work,

Your praise, your counsels to the listening Craft,

And oh, your daily walk before the world,

WITHIN THE SQUARE.

 

 

PERFECT ASHLARS.

 

The sunbeams from the eastern sky,

Flash from yon blocks, exalted high,

And on their polished fronts proclaim

The framer and the builder's fame.

Glowing beneath the fervid noon

Yon marble dares the southern sun,

et tells that wall of fervid flame,

The framer and the builder's fame.

The chastened sun, adown the west,

Speaks the same voice and sinks to rest,

No sad defect, no flaw to shame

The framer and the builder's fame.

Beneath the dewy night, the sky

Lights up ten thousand lamps on high;

Ten thousand lamps unite to name

The framer and the builder's fame.

Perfect in line, exact in square,

These Ashlars of the Craftsmen are,

They will to coming time proclaim

The framer and the builder's fame.

75


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE WORKING TOOLS.

 

Let us be true,— each Working Tool

The Master places in our care

Imparts a stern but wholesome rule

To all who work and journey here;

The Architect divine has used

The Plumb, the Level and the Square.

 

Let us be wise; the Level see!

How certain is the doom of man!

So humble should Freemasons be

Who work within this narrow span;

No room for pride and vanity

Let wisdom rule our every plan.

 

Let us be just; behold the Square!

Its pattern deviates no part

From that which, in the Master's care,

Tries all the angles of the heart.

O sacred implement divine,

Blest emblem of Masonic art!

 

Let us be true; the unerring Plumb,

Dropped from the unseen Master's hand,

Rich fraught with truthfulness has come,

To bid us rightly walk and stand;

That the All-seeing Eye of God

May bless us from the heavenly land.

 

Dear friend, whose generous heart I know,

Whose virtues shine so far abroad,—

Long may you linger here below,

To share what friendship may afford!

Long may the Level, Plumb and Square,

Speak forth through you the works of God.

 

 

THE APRON.

 

This fair and stainless thing I take

To be my badge for virtue's sake;

Its ample strings that gird me round

My constant cable tow are found;

And as securely they are tied

So may true faith with me abide;

 

76

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

And as I face the sunny South

I pledge to God my Mason's truth,

That while on earth I do remain

My Apron shall not have a stain.

This fair and stainless thing I raise

In memory of Apprentice days,

When on the checkered pavement wide,

With gauge and gavel well supplied,

I keep my garments free from soil

Though laboring in a menial toil;

And as I face the golden West

I call my MAKER to attest

That while on earth I do remain

My Apron shall not have a stain.

This fair and stainless thing I lower,—

Its 'Prentice aid I need no more;

For laws and principles are given

The Fellow Craft direct from Heaven;—

To help the needy,— keep a trust,—

Observe the precepts of the just;

And as I face the darkened North

I send this solemn promise forth,

That while on earth I do remain,

My Apron shall not have a stain,

This fair and stainless thing I fold,—

A Master Mason now behold!

A welcome guest in every land

With princes and with kings to stand;

Close tyled within my heart of hearts

I keep all secret arts and parts,

And try to walk the heavenly road

In daily intercourse with God;

And as I face the mystic East,

I vow by Him I love the best,

That while on earth I do remain,

My Apron shall not have a stain.

This fair and stainless thing I doff;—

But though I take my Apron off

And lay the stainless badge aside,—

Its teaching ever shall abide;

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

For God has given Light Divine

That we may walk opposed to sin;—

And sympathy and brotherly love

Are emanations from above;

And life itself is only given

To square and shape our souls for Heaven,

The glorious temple in the sky,

The grand Celestial Lodge on high.

 

 

GAVEL SONG.

 

Through the murky clouds of night,

Bursts the blaze of Orient light

In the ruddy East appears the breaking Day.

Oh, ye Masons, up! the sky

Speaks the time of labor nigh,

And the MASTER calls the quarrymen away.

 

CHORUS.

 

One, Two, Three, the Gavel sounding,

One, Two, Three, the Craft obey;

Led by holy Word of Love

And the fear of One above,

In the strength of God begin the Opening Day.

 

Oh, the memory of the time

When the temple rose sublime,

And JEHOVAH came in fire and cloud to see!

As we bowed in worship there

First we formed the PERFECT SQUARE,

And the MASTER blessed the symbol of the free.

While the Mason craft shall stand,

And they journey o'er the land,

As the golden sun awakes the earth and main,

They will join in mystic ways

To recall the happy days

When on Zion's mount they built JEHOVAH'S fane.

 

Life is fleeting as a shade,—

We must join the quiet dead,

But Freemasonry eternal life shall bear;

And in bright millennial way

They will keep the Opening Day

With the Sign and Step that make the PERFECT SQUARE.

 

78

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

THE LEVEL.

 

We love to hear the Gavel, to see the silver Square,

But the moral of the level is best beyond compare,—

Is best beyond compare for it guides us to the West,

Where the shades of evening cover the islands of the blest.

 

When the weary day has parted and starry lights appear,

We miss the faithful-hearted, the brother-forms so dear,—

The brother-forms so dear, of all the world the best,

But the Level points their mansions in the islands of the blest.

 

And we again shall meet them within the sunset band,

And face to face shall greet them, the Unforgotten Band,—

The Unforgotten Band, whose emblem is the best,

The Level, for it points us to the islands of the blest.

 

 

THE TROWEL.

 

The Perfect Ashlars, duly set

Within the walls, need mortar yet—

A Cement mixed with ancient skill,

And tempered at the Builder's will

With this each crevice is concealed —

Each flaw and crack securely sealed,—

And all the blocks within their place

United in one perfect mass!

 

For this the Trowel's use is given,

It makes the work secure and even

Secure, that storms may not displace,

Even, that beauty's lines may grace

It is the proof of Mason's art

Rightly to do the Trowel's part!

The rest is all reduced to rule,

But this must come from God's own school!

 

We build the "House not made with hands";

Our Master, from Celestial lands,

Points out the plan, the blocks, the place,

And bids us build in strength and grace:

From quarries' store we choose the rock,

We shape and smooth the perfect block,

And placing it upon the wall,

Humbly the Master's blessing call.

 

79

 

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

But there is yet a work undone,—

To fix the true and polished stone!

The Master's blessings will not fall

Upon a loose, disjointed wall;

Exposed to ravages of time,

It cannot have the mark sublime

That age and honor did bestow

Upon the FANS on Sion's brow.

 

Brothers, true Builders of the soul,

Would you become one perfect whole,

That all the blasts which time can move

Shall only strengthen you in love?

Would you, as Life's swift sands shall run,

Build up the Temple here begun,

That death's worst onset it may brave,

And you eternal wages have?

 

Then fix in love's cement the heart!

Study and act the Trowel's part!

Strive, in the Compass' span to live,

And mutual concessions give!

Daily your prayers and alms bestow,

As yonder light cloth clearly show,

And walking by the Plummet just,

In God your hope, in God your trust!

THE PUBLIC GRAND HONORS.

 

I.

 

Bear on your souls, dear friends, the blest departed;

Engrave on memory his beloved name;

Gone to his wages, gone, the faithful-hearted,

Write on heart tablets his deserved fame,

His spotless truth, his boundless charity,

His trust in God, his love for Masonry.

 

II.

 

Look to the Lodge floor where he now is walking!

Angel and spirit, he is clothed in white;

Hark, of what mysteries he now is talking;

Too bright, too dazzling for our mortal sight!

There his undying nature has its rest,

In the communion of the good and blest.

 

 

80

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

III.

 

Honor the grave, honor the open earth,

Honor the body that we give to clay;

'Twas an immortal structure from its birth,

And it shall have its resurrection day;

Tenderly give to mother earth the prize,

And let her keep it till God bid it rise.

 

 

 

In recitation, these lines are pointed by the three appropriate movements of the Public Grand Honors as practiced in this country.

 

 

 

THE PILLARS OF THE PORCH.

 

The Old is better: is it not the plan

By which the wtsE, in by-gone days, contrived

To bind in willing fetters man to man,

And strangers in a sacred nearness lived?

Is there in modern wisdom aught like that

Which, midst the blood and carnage of the plain,

Can calm man's fury, mitigate his hate,

And join disrupted friends in love again?

No! for three thousand years the smiles of Heaven,

Smiles on whose sunbeams comes unmeasured joy,

To this thrice-honored CEMENT have been given,

This BOND, this Cov E:N ANT, this sacred TIE.

It comes to us full laden; from the tomb

A countless host conspire to name its worth,

Who sweetly sleep beneath th' ACACIA'S bloom;

And there is naught like Masonry on earth.

Then guard the venerable relic well;

Protect it, Masters, from th' unholy hand;

See that its emblems the same lessons tell

Sublime through every age and every land;

Be not a line erased; the pen that drew

These matchless tracings was the PEN DIVINE '—

Infinite Wisdom best for mortals knew —

GOD will preserve intact the GRAND DESIGN.

 

An innovation upon the Masonic landmarks is like removing one of the emblems from the Pillars at the entrance of the Temple. It is Masonic sacrilege.

 

81

 

 


THF POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE FIVE POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP.

 

Joyful task it is, dear Brothers

Thus to take upon the lip

With full heart, and fitting gesture,

All our points of fellowship.

Foot and knee, breast, hand and cheek

Each a measured part shall speak:

Speak of answering mercy's call;

Speak of prayer for Masons all;

Speak of keeping secrets duly;

Speak of stretching strong hand truly;

Speak of whispering the unruly.

 

FOOT TO FOOT: 'tis Mercy's mandate,

When is heard the plaintive sigh,

Hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked,

On the wings of aid to fly;

Hasten, mitigate the grief,

Hasten, bear him quick relief!

Quick with bread to feed the hungry;

Quick with raiment for the naked;

Quick with shelter for the homeless;

Quick with heart's deep sympathy.

 

KNEE TO KNEE. in silence praying,

LORD, give listening ear that day!

Every earthly stain confessing,

For all tempted Masons pray!

Perish envy, perish hate,

For all Masons supplicate.

Bless them, Lord, upon the ocean;

Bless them perishing in the desert;

Bless them falling 'neath temptation:

Bless them when about to die!

 

BREAST TO BREAST: in holy casket

At life's center strongly hele,

Every sacred thing intrusted,

Sealed by faith's unbroken seal;

What you promised GoD to shield

Suffer, die, but never yield.

Never yield whate'er the trial;

Never yield whate'er the number;

Never yield though foully threatened,

Even at the stroke of death.

 

 

 

 

 

82


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

HAND TO BACK: A Brother falling,

His misfortune is too great,

Stretch the generous hand, sustain him,

Quick, before it is too late.

Like a strong, unfaltering prop,

Hold the faltering Brother up.

Hold him up; stand like a column;

Hold him up; there's good stuff in him;

Hold him with his head toward Heaven;

Hold him with the lion's grip.

 

CHEEK TO CHEEK: O, when the tempter

Comes, a Brother's soul to win,

With a timely whisper warn him

Of the dark and deadly sin.

Extricate him from the snare,

Save him with fraternal care.

Save him, — heavenly powers invoke you,—

Save him,—man is worth the saving,—

Save him,—breathe your spirit in him

As you'd have your God save you.

 

This completes the obligation;

Brothers, lest you let it slip,

Fasten on tenacious memory

All our points of Fellowship;

Foot and knee, breast, hand and cheek,—

Foot and knee, breast, hand and cheek.

 

The above was a favorite poem of Brother Andrew Johnson, late President, and is one that has entered largely into popular use, during the twenty years since it was written. The paraphrase embodies the following ancient form of injunction. "Foot to foot [ teaches ] that we will not hesitate to go on foot and out of our way to aid and succor a needy Brother; knee to knee, that we will ever remember a Brother's welfare, in all our applications to Deity; breast to breast, that we will ever keep, in our breast, a Brother's secrets, when communicated to us as such, murder and treason excepted; hand to back, that we will ever be ready to stretch forth our hand to aid and sup-port a falling Brother: Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear, that we will ever whisper good counsel in the ear of a Brother, and in the most tender manner remind him of his faults, and endeavor to aid his reformation; and will give him due and timely notice that he may ward off all approaching danger." These sentiments seem to express the whole charitable scheme of Freemasonry. In the succeeding poem the same thought is wrought out to correspond with the English form of injunction.

 

Men and brethren, hear me tell you

What we Masons vowed to do,

When, prepared at mythic altar,

We assumed the Masons' vow:

 

 

 

83
THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY

 

Hand and foot, knee, breast and back

Listen to the charge they make.

Men and brethren, God be with you

While you keep the charge they make

 

Hand to hand, in mystic meeting,

Thrills the Masons' cordial clasp,

Telling of a deathless greeting

Linked in this fraternal grasp:

While upon God's earth we stand

Truth and love go hand in hand.

Men and brethren, God is with you

While in loving grasp ye stand

 

Foot to foot, he stands before you

Upright in the plummet's line!

Share with him your manly vigor,

Be to him the power divine.

While he keeps the unerring law;

Never let your foot withdraw.

Men and brethren, God be with you,

While ye keep the unerring law!

 

Knee to knee, in earnest worship,

None but God to hear and heed,

All our woes and sins confessing,

Let us for each other plead.

By the spirit of our call

Let us pray for Brothers all.

Men and brethren, God be with you,

While ye pray for Brothers all!

 

Breast to breast, in sacred casket,

At life's center let us seal

Every truth to us intrusted,

Nor one holy thing reveal.

What a Mason vows to shield

Die he may, but never yield.

Men and Brethren, God be with you,

While your mysteries you shield!

 

Hand to back, no base-born slander

Shall assail an absent friend;

We from every foul aspersion

Will the honored name defend,

 

84


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

Warding from a Brother's heart

Slander's vile, envenomed dart.

Men and Brethren, God be with you,

Warding slander's venomed dart!

 

Let us, then, in earnest ponder

What we Masons vowed to do,

When prepared at mythic altar

We assumed the Mason's vow.

Hand and foot, knee, breast and back,

Heed the solemn charge they make.

Men and Brethren, God be with you,

While you heed the charge they make!

 

 

 

The author employs the following expressions as a preface to the recitation of this piece: "If there is real antiquity in Freemasonry, as I sincerely believe; if this Order has come to us from the remote period of David and Solomon, as I am convinced it has, then this `Five points of Fellow-ship' is the nucleus around which the whole structure was formed. Nothing in Masonry exhibits the master mind of Solomon like this symbol. How practical thus to teach the principles to Masons by these selected portions of the human body, the foot, knee, breast, hand, cheek; as no one can lawfully be initiated who is deficient in these parts, they become the most undeniable object-lessons, always in sight, always in front!”

 

 

THE SACRED CORD, THRICE WOUND.

 

Bind it once, that in his heart,

He may surely hold

All the mysteries of the Art,

As did the Craft of old;

Bind it once, and make the noose

Strong, that sin shall not unloose.

 

Bind it twice, that Masons' law,

Faith and Charity,

Ever may his spirit draw

In one resistless tie;

Bind it twice, and make the noose

Stronger,— death alone shall loose.

 

Bind it thrice, that every deed,

Virtuous and chaste,

On the heavenly page be spread,

Worthy of the best;

Bind it thrice, and make the noose

Strongest,—death shall not unloose.

 

These lines were highly complimented by Brother George D. Prentice.

 

85


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.—A RECITATION IN FIVE PARTS.

 

I. EXORDIUM.

 

(Bible closed. Position west of the altar, facing the east.)

 

The Landmarks of Freemasonry are graven on God's Word;

It tells the WISDOM and the STRENGTH and BEAUTY of the Lord;

These tapers three, in mystic form, reveal to willing eyes

The freest, purest, grandest light of Masons' mysteries.

O Wise and Good GRAND MASTER,

Reveal this Law to us!

 

(Position north of the altar, facing the south.)

 

As lies the mightiest oak within the acorn's fragile shell,

So, with the secrets of the Craft, they in this VOLUME dwell;

King Solomon, directed here by the Omniscient JUDGE,

Drew forth the ashlars from their place, and built the Mason's Lodge.

 

(Position east of the altar, and facing the west.)

 

The golden Law unfolds itself, mysterious, by degrees;

At first comes sunrise, then high twelve, then sunset gilds the trees;

So, by three grades, we see our Ladder up to Heaven ascend,

And rising stronger, clearer, holier to the very end.

 

II. THE ENTERED APPRENTICE.

 

(Bible open at the 133d Psalm. Through the rest of the recitation, the speaker stands west of the altar, facing the east )

 

"Behold how good and pleasant 'tis,— read it on yonder page,—

For brethren in true harmony of labor to engage!

'Tis like the dew of Hermon, yea, 'tis like the holy oil.

It sweetens all life's bitterness and mitigates the toil."

O Wise and Good GRAND MASTER,

We bless Thee for this light!

 

We must work in FIDELITY; no mystic thing, reposed

Under the sacred seal of faith, should ever be disclosed;

This, this is the foundation stone King Solomon did lay,

And curses on the traitor's heart that would the trust betray.

 

We must not take the HOLY NAME, the awful NAME in vain;

God will not hold us guiltless, if we dare that WORD profane;

But all our trust must be in Him, sole source of living faith,

From our first entrance to the Lodge till we lie down in death.

 

86

 

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

 

III. THE FELLOW CRAFT.

 

(Bible open at the 7th Chapter of Amos.)

 

The Master stood upon the wall, a plumb line in his hand,

And thus in solemn warning to the working, listening Band:

"By this unerring guide," he said, "build up your edifice,

For I will blast your labors as ye deviate from this!"

O Wise and Good GRAND MASTER,

We bless Thee for this light!

 

We must preserve the Landmarks olden, that our fathers set;

Approved of God, hoary with age, they are most precious yet;

Our brothers over the river worked within their mystic bound,

And for a six days' faithfulness, a full fruition found.

 

We must relieve the destitute, disconsolate and poor;

For 'tis our Master sends them to our hospitable door;

And HE who giveth all things richly, to His children's cry,

Will mark, well pleased, our readiness His bounty to supply.

 

IV. THE MASTER MASON.

 

Bible open at the 12th Chapter of Ecclesiastes.)

 

Remember our Creator now, before the days shall come

When all our senses failing point to nature's common doom;

While love and strength and hope conspire life's pilgrimage to cheer,

We'll give our Master grateful praise whose goodness is so dear.

O Wise and Good GRAND MASTER,

We bless Thee for this light!

 

We must in honor shield the pure, the chaste ones of the Craft;

Ward off the shaft of calumny, the envenomed, horrid shaft;

Abhor deceit and subterfuge, cling closely to a friend;

And for ourselves and others at the shrine of mercy bend.

 

We must inter in everlasting hope the faithful dead;

Above their precious forms the green and fragrant 'cacia spread;

'Tis but a little while they sleep, in nature's kindly trust,

And then the Master's Gavel will arouse them from the dust,

 

V. PERORATION. (Bible closed.)

 

And thus exhaustless mine of truth this holy Volume lies,

As open to the faithful heart as to the inquiring eyes;

 

 

87


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY,

 

 

Here are no dark recesses, but Freemasons all may see

The Landmarks of the ancient Craft, beneath the tapers three.

O Wise and Good GRAND MASTER,

This Law shall be our guide!

 

In every place, at every hour, this constant friend we have,

In quarry and in forest, on the mount and on the wave;

At toil and at refreshment, in youth, manhood, and old age,

Let's draw our inspiration from its bright and holy page.

O Wise and Good GRAND MASTER,

This Law shall be our guide.

 

Thus laboring, all our six days' burdens cheerfully we'll bear,

In hopes of wages ample, golden, held in promise there;

Then resting with the faithful, wait the MASTER'S gracious will,

The summons to the Lodge above that crowns the heavenly hill.

O Wise and Good GRAND MASTER,

Desert us not in death!

 

STRONG FOUNDATION.

 

Craftsmen, this lesson heed and keep,

Lay your foundations wide and deep!

When the appointed time had come,

And Israel from allotted home,

Came up, by Solomon's command,

To lay in state the corner stone,

And build the Temple high and grand,

Such as the Lord would crown and own,

The Monarch by a just decree

Thus set the law eternally:

"Lay your foundation deep, the fane

Will not eternally remain;

For tooth of time will gnaw its side

And foe deface its golden pride;

Pillar, pilaster, height, and base,

May mingle in the foul disgrace;

But with foundation deep and wise,

Other and nobler works may rise,

And till the earth in ruin fall

Some structure crown Moriah's wall."

 

88

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

The people bowed obedient head;

Hiram, the Architect, began,

By long and wise experience led

(How sadly to our spirits come

The memories of the good man's doom!)

To justify the Monarch's plan.

From mighty quarries raised, the rock

In ashlars huge and weighty, drew;

See yet they rise upon the view

In spite of time and earthquake's shock!

Until there stood, as yet there stands,

The grandest pile of human hands;

A sure foundation, deep and wise,

On which the noblest works may rise.

 

The underpinning of Solomon's Temple, intact to the present day, is the heaviest piece of stone masonry ever constructed.

 

 

 

THE TESSERA.

 

Parting on the sounding shore

Brothers twain were sighing;

Mingle with the ocean's roar,

Words of love undying;

A ring of gold was severed then

And each to each the giver,

His faith renewed in mystic sign

Which bound the heart forever.

"Broken thus THE TOKEN be,

While o'er the earth we wander;

One to thee and one to me —

Rudely torn asunder;

But though divided, we are one—

This scar the bond expresses,

When all our painful wandering's done,

Will close and leave no traces!

"Warmly in thy bosom hide,

The golden voice, I love thee!

Keep it there whate'er betide,

To guard thee and to prove thee!

And should THE TOKEN e'er be lost,

The ring that now is riven,

I'll know that death bath sent the frost,

And look for thee in Heaven!"

 

 

 

89


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

Parted on the sounding shore,

Each THE TOKEN keeping,

Met these Brothers nevermore

In death they're widely sleeping.

But yet love's victory was won,—

The scar that bond expresses,

Their long and painful wanderings done

Has closed and left no traces!

 

The ancient practice of sealing devoted friendship between parting friends, by separating some metallic substances, as a ring, a coin, and the like, and dividing the fragments between the parties, is not altogether disused. In the rural districts of England and Scotland it is a custom of lovers, and many a poor laborer, whose body lies buried in the soil of the western continent, bore upon his person at his dying hour this token of betrothal with one who shall never again meet him on earth.

 

THE DOOR OF THE HEART.

 

Tyle the door carefully, Brothers of skill,

Vigilant workers in valley and hill!

Cowans and eavesdroppers ever alert,

Tyle the door carefully, door of the heart.

Carefully, carefully, tyle the door carefully,

Tyle the Door carefully, door of the heart.

 

Guard it from envyings, let them not in;

Malice and whisperings, creatures of sin;

Bid all unrighteousness sternly depart,

Brothers in holiness, tyling the heart.

Holily, holily, tyle the door holily,

Tyle the Door holily, door of the heart.

 

But should the Angels of Mercy draw nigh,

Messengers sent from the Master on high—

Should they come knocking with mystical art,

Joyfully open the door of the heart!

Joyfully, joyfully, ope the door joyfully,

Ope the door joyfully, door of the heart.

 

Are they not present, those angels, to-night,

Laden with riches and sparkling with light?

Oh, to enjoy all the bliss they impart,

Let us in gratitude, open the heart!

Gratefully, thankfully, ope the door thankfully,

Ope the Door thankfully, door of the heart.

 

 

 

90

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

BEAUTIFUL STONE OF THE MASONIC ARCH.

 

If I were the Master Grand,

If I were the King of Judah now,

And of that sage Tyrian band

Who wore the cockle shell on the brow,

I'll tell you what I'd do:

I'd choose my brightest Parian rock,

No flaw or crevice in the block,

And right above the ivory throne,

I'd set the beautiful stone,

The beautiful, beautiful stone.

 

I'd take from Lebanon the trees,

The cedars fragrant, tall and fair,

And hardened by the centuries.

And them to the Mount I'd bear;

Hiram should them prepare.

From Ophir's golden sands I'd drain

The yellow, choice and glitt'ring grain,

And these in mystic form should crown

The white and beautiful stone,—

The beautiful, beautiful stone.

 

Then unto every shrine I'd go,

To every lorn and humble grave,

And all the prayers and tears that flow

From women meek, and manhood brave,

And orphan lone, I'd have;

Prayers for sweet incense should arise,

And holy tears for sacrifice;

I'm sure that God Himself would own

And bless the beautiful stone,—

The beautiful, beautiful stone.

 

This beautiful stone, its name should be

Each loving Mason loves it well,

'Tis writ in glory, — CHARITY,

Best word the earth can tell,

Best word the heavens can tell;

Above the ivory throne so bright,—

Were I the MASTER GRAND to-night,

Where God and man alike would own

I'd set the beautiful stone,

The beautiful, beautiful stone.

 

91


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

THE CHECKERED PAVEMENT.

 

I on the WHITE SQUARE, you on the BLACK;

I at fortune's face, you at her back;

Friends to me many, friends to you few;

What, then, dear Brother, binds me to you?

This, the GREAT COVENANT in which we abide —

HEARTS charged with sympathy—

HANDS opened wide

Lies filled with comfort,

And God to provide.

 

I in life's valley, you on its crest;

I at its lowest, you at its best;

I sick and sorrowing, you hale and free;

What, then, dear Brother, binds you to me?

This, the GREAT COVENANT in which we abide —

HEARTS charged with sympathy —

HANDS opened wide --

Lips filled with comfort,

And God to provide.

 

They in death's slumber, we yet alive;

They freed from labor, we yet to strive;

They paid and joyful, we tired and sad

What, then, to us, Brother, bindeth the dead?

This, the GREAT COVENANT in which we abide—

HEARTS charged with sympathy

HANDS opened wide —

Lies filled with comfort,

And God to provide.

 

Let none be comfortless, let none despair;

Lo, round the Black grouped the

White Ashlars are!

Stand by each other, black fortune defy,

All these vicissitudes end, by and by.

Keep the GREAT COVENANT wherein we abide—

HEARTS charged with sympathy

HANDS opened wide

Lips filled with comfort,

And God will provide!

 

There is no emblem that teaches a more practical every-day lesson to a Freemason than the Mosaic pavement, denoting human life checkered with good and evil.

 

92

 

 


SYMBOLICAL, MASONRY.

 

 

THE CORNER STONE.

 

The thought embodied in these lines is one of the most charming fancies in Masonic symbolism; for the use of the trowel is admittedly the best work of the best Masons, and the Lodge that exists in peace and harmony is the model Lodge. To disturb this harmony by substituting clamor, calumny, and harsh judgment for the mild voices of peace is what is implied in the following lines under the idea of robbing the corner stone!

 

Here is a legend that our fathers told

When Mason toils were done, and round the board

The Craftsmen sat harmonious, in the glow

Of Brotherly Love ! I heard it long ago

From lips now silent; and by this corner stone

I fain would tell it as 'twas told to me.

 

'Tis said that SOLOMON, in the vast array

Of nine score thousand workmen who came up

From Lebanon's foot, to build the temple, found

Discord and strife, contentions harsh and sharp,

Even to murder; hands that wielded best

The peaceful Trowel, black with human gore;

Aprons, worn to protect them from the soil,

Bloody with horrid stain; and in their speech,

Instead of gentle memories of home,

And children's prattle and sweet mother love,

Dire curses, threats, the very speech of Hell,—

Such base materials came up from Tyre.

 

KING SOLOMON all humbly took the case to God,

And in deep visions of the night the VOICE

DIVINE came to his soul in sweet response.

From the great PEACE LODGE, where the patriarchs sit,

Wisdom descended, and his soul was glad.

The WISEST gave our wisest such a warmth

Of LIGHT celestial that the fire has burned,

Steady, undimmed, lo, these three thousand years.

 

'Twas this. I was but young in Masonry

When first I heard it; and 'twas told to me

By one of four score, long since gone to Heaven;

And he did testify unto his truth;

And now, I add the experience of my life

To its strict verity, and it was this: —

 

The MONARCH bade prepare a corner stone,

Vastly more large than this, than ten of this;

 

 

93


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

I saw it in my visit to the place —

A monstrous ASHLAR, beveled on the edge,

Phoenician emblem, standing plumb and firm

Within the mountain, standing, as we say,

Respected friends, "trusty, deep-laid and true!"

And on the under side of this large stone,

KING SOLOMON gave orders to scoop out

A Cavity, as you have done with this;

And when with mighty enginery, the Block

Was raised, as yours, dear Craft, just now was done,

He placed, with his own hands, within the Crypt,

What think you? newspapers? and current coins?

And names of honored men? No, no, he placed

All those damned vices, that discolored so

The spirits of his workmen, hatreds, all

That stained their Aprons, fouled their Trowels, cursed

The air of Palestine with notes of Hell!

These things by his great power, KING SOLOMON took

From out the hearts of that Freemason band,

Placed them within the Crypt and ordered quick,

The mighty stone let down, and closed them there,

And stamped his Mystic Seal upon the stone!

And there they lie intact, unto this hour!

 

Henceforth the Work all peacefully went on;

The giant stones were laid within the walls

Without the sound of ax or iron tool.

Pure Brotherly Love sublimely reigned, and so

The Temple of KING SOLOMON was built!

 

Honored and well beloved Grand Master! see

This mighty Order you so justly rule,

For thirty centuries has given respect

To SOLOMON'S SEAL! his corner stone abides

Right where he planted it, the strange contents

Festering dishonored in their dark repose.

Oh, may they never rise to plague the Craft!

No blood is on our Aprons, on our Tools

No trace of human gore; upon our tongues

No unfraternal epithets; thank God!

Thank God! And to the latest day of earth,

When the last trump shall call the blest above,

May PEACE, sweet PEACE, celestial PEACE, abide

In Masons' lodges and in Masons' souls.

 

 

 

 

 

94
SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

THE GRAND HAILING SIGN.

 

Shipwrecked, nigh drowned, alone upon the sands,

Chilled with the flood and with the frosty air

Hungry and wounded, lo, a Mason stands,

And looks despairingly on nature there.

 

Her coldest frown the face of nature wears;

She offers to the shipwrecked but a grave!

No fruits, sustaining life, the forest bears,

No cheering flowers nor yet a sheltering cave.

 

The brake impenetrable closes round;

Thence the dense clouds of stinging insects come,

Maddening with venom every cruel wound,

Vexing the spirit with their ceaseless hum.

 

No hope, no hope! the soul within him dies;

He seeks a sepulture within the sands,

Once more unto his mother's breast he flies,

And scoops a self-made grave with bleeding hands.

 

The river moans in solemn strains his dirge;

The unfeeling birds upon the tree tops sing,

Or in the distant skies their pinions urge,

Southward to regions of perpetual spring.

He bids farewell to life; its joys so sweet;

Children and mother,— happy, happy home,—

But yesterday, ran out his steps to greet,

And bless his coming who no more shall come.

 

He bids farewell, and seals it with a prayer;

That lonely beach resounded with the word.

"Keep them, All Gracious, in thy tender care,

Thou art the widow's, Thou the orphans' God."

 

Then downward lying on earth's kindly lap,

He draws the sand as a thick blanket o'er,

And strives in dreamless quietude to sleep,

Vexed by life's fears and hungerings no more.

 

But hark, O joy! the voice, the voice of man!

Springing with heart elastic from his bed,

Life's strong desires in him revive again,

And hopes that seemed but now forever fled.

 

 

95

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

A gallant boat cloth down the river come,

A hundred men upon its margin crowd;

Surely among the many there are some

Who know the Mystic Sign, the Holy Word!

 

He makes the Signal and the Signal Cry;

The pitying crowds his frantic gestures see;

The echoing shores his solemn words swept by,

"O, God, is there no help, no help for me?"

 

Alas, no help! 'tis thus that traitors work;

Ay, even so full many a gallant boat,

Decoyed by pirates, as they grimly lurk,

Has met the brand, or the destructive shot.

 

Yearning to stop and save him, how they gaze!

Some answering who know not what they do,

Some weep, some turn away in sheer amaze,

And so the vessel vanishes from view.

 

All then is death and solitude again;

Months pass; a wary hunter hurrying by,

Sees on the beach the sad decay of man,

And gives a grave for kind humanity.

 

Aad in the silence of the winter night,

A voice from that poor skeleton is heard:

"The heart of man is smitten with a blight,

There is no help but in the pitying God!"

 

This incident occurred in 1862, on the lower Mississippi.

 

LETTER G.

 

Referred to the emblem of Deity that marks the Lodge-East. Deo optimo, maximo [To God, all great].

 

THAT NAME! I learned it at a mother's knee,

When, looking up, the fond and tearful face

Beaming upon my eyes so tenderly,

She prayed that God her little son would bless!

 

THAT NAME! I spoke it when I entered here,

And bowed the knee, as each Freemason must;

From my heart's center with sincerity,

I said, "In God, in God is all my trust! "

 

96

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

 

THAT NAME! I saw it o'er the Master's chair,

"The Hieroglyphic bright," and, bending low,

Paid solemn homage at the emblem there,

That speaks of God, before whom all must bow!

 

THAT NAME! In silence I invoked its power

When dangers thickened and when death was nigh!

In solemn awe I felt the death clouds lower,

And whispered, "God be with me if I die!"

 

THAT NAME! the last upon my faltering tongue,

Ere death shall still it, it shall surely be;

The PASSWORD to the high celestial throng,

Whose Lord is Gon in truth and majesty!

 

THAT NAME then, Brothers, always gently speak,

Before your father's, mother's name revered!

Such blessings from His gracious hand we take,

O be His honor to our souls endeared!

 

 

QUARRY.

 

Darkly hid beneath the quarry,

Masons, many a true block lies;

Hands must shape and hands must carry

Ere the stone the Master prize.

Seek for it,— measure it,

Fashion it,— polish it!

Then the OVERSEER will prize.

 

What though shapeless, rough, and heavy,

Think ye God His work will lose?

Raise the block with strength He gave ye;

Fit it for the Master's use.

Seek for it,— measure it,

Fashion it,— polish it!

Then the OVERSEER will use.

 

'Twas for this our Fathers banded,—

Through life's quarries they did roam,

Faithful-hearted, skillful-handed,

Bearing many a true block home.

Noticing,— measuring,

Fashioning,—polishing!

For their glorious Temple home.

 

97

 

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

Come, ye that strongly build,

And deftly wield

The Level, Plumb and Square!

Ye whose hard, girding toil,

God's Corn and Wine and Oil

Were made to cheer!

Ye clothed in aprons white,

Whose uttermost delight,

All through life's toilsome week,

Is, from the quarry, to perfect a stone,

That the CHIEF O'ERSEER will own,

And bless from His exalted Throne,

Come, and I'll tell you of a PERFECT BRICK!

 

Fit for the inclosing Wall Of Hiram's royal Hall;

Fit for the Pavement that Queen Sheba trod;

Fit for the Capstone high,

Or in the Depths to lie,

Hid from each prying eye,

In the Mount of God,

This PERFECT BRICK, whose shape delights the view,

Whose polish charms us, too,

Whose angles all are true,

By examination due,

This MASON fair and meek,

This son of Light and eke the son of Love,

Whose pattern is the Sun and Dove,

Rare are the virtues of our PERFECT BRICK!

 

See, on its six-fold face

This PERFECT BRICK displays the things of light!

Turn it about, about, and trace

The ancient symbols as they catch the sight!

The Trowel,—ah, it speaks of spreading peace,

Causing all wars and bickerings to cease!

The Compass,—ah, it serves to warm the soul,

To circumscribe the passions and control

The appetites within the due and honest bound!

The G, —can any view that mystic round,

Nor feel like bending reverent knee,

As if in presence of the Deity?

 

98

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

It is the Signet of a King,

Greater than Babylonian bard did sing!

The Square,— its trumpet tongue proclaims

Great virtue's power to Square the heart,

Upon the perfect angles of our Art!

The Broken Column, whose white marble gleams

Above the grave of Hiram; and the Spray

Of everlasting Green that bade them seek

"Where he lay buried "; and through countless years

Of yin and strife, and mortal agony,

Hath taught the sorrowing spirit to look up,

Amidst its tears, and fondly hope,

In Immortality to lose its cares,

These are the Emblems of our PERFECT BRICK!

 

At last life's powers fail;

The Silver Cord is loosed, the Wheel

Of Life, and Golden Bowl are broken;

The sunny days return no more;

There comes through every avenue, the Token,

That Death is knocking at the Door!

The Grinders cease; the Eyes grow dim;

Gray Hairs are blossorBing above;

The Ear no more receives the happy hymn,

The Heart no more is kindled up with love;

The ruffian Death his work completes,—

The Mourners go about the streets,

Our souls with Sympathy to move!

Beneath the green Sprigs we entomb

Him the delight of the Mason's Home!

What, then, is there for all his toil

Through life's long, weary week,

No Corn and Wine and Oil?

Ye unseen, hovering Spirits, speak!

Hath the Grand Master a reward

For him who sleeps beneath the sod?

I tell you yes! and when the wick

Of life's poor taper all is spent,

And the body goes to banishment,

The Soul, the Soul, the white-robed Soul,

All earthly dross off throwing, finds its goal;

The Column finds its place in Temple high,

To stand in honor to Eternity,

Then God Himself will claim our PERFECT BRICK!

 

The expression "Perfect Brick," is but another form for that of " Perfect Ashlar."

 

99

 

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

QUARRY, HILL AND TEMPLE.

 

Thine in the Quarry, whence the stone

For mystic workmanship is drawn;

On Jordan's shore,

By Zarthan's plain,

Though faint and weary, thine alone.

The gloomy mine knows not a ray,—

The heavy toil exhausts the day,

But love keeps bright

The weary heart,

And sings, I'm thine without decay.

 

Thine on the Hill, whose cedars rear

Their perfect forms and foliage fair

Each graceful shaft

And deathless leaf

Of Masons' love the emblems are;

Thine when a smile pervades the heaven,—

Thine when the sky's with thunder riven.—

Each echo swells

Through answering hills,

My Mason prayer, for thee 'tis given.

 

Thine in the Temple, holy place,

Where silence reigns, the type of peace;

With grip and sign,

And mystic line,

My Mason's friendship I confess.

Each block we raise, that friendship grows,

Cemented firmly ne er to loose;

And when complete,

The work we greet,

Thine in the joy my bosom knows.

 

Thine at the midnight in the cave;—

Thine in the floats upon the wave,—

By Joppa's hill,

By Kedron's rill,

And thine when Sabbath rest we have.

Yes, yes, dear friend, my spirit saith:

I'm thine until and after death!

No bounds control

The Mason's soul

Cemented with the Mason's faith.

 

100

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

 

TRUE CORNERSTONE.

 

What is the Mason's cornerstone?

Does the mysterious temple rest

On earthly ground—from east to west—

From north to south—and this alone?

 

What is the Mason's cornerstone?

Is it to toil for fame and pelf,

To magnify our petty self,

And love our friends—and this alone?

 

No, no; the Mason's cornerstone—

A deeper, stronger, nobler base,

Which time and foe cannot displace

Is FAITH IN Gomm—and this alone!

 

'Tis this which makes the mystic tie

Loving and true, divinely good,

A grand, united brotherhood,

Cemented 'neath the All-seeing Eye.

 

'Tis this which gives the sweetest tone

To Mason's melodies; the gleam

To loving eyes; the brightest gem

That sparkles in the Mason's crown.

 

'Tis this which makes the Mason's grip

A chain indissolubly strong;

It banishes all fraud, and wrong,

And coldness from our fellowship.

 

Oh, cornerstone, divine, divine!

Oh, FAITH IN GOD! it buoys us up,

And gives to darkest hours a hope,

And makes the heart a holy shrine.

 

Brothers, be this your cornerstone;

Build every wish and hope on this;

Of present joy, of future bliss,

On earth, in Heaven—and this alone!

 

 

 

101

 

 

 

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

CORN, WINE, OIL.

 

It is the Master's province to communicate light to the Brethren.

 

They come from many a pleasant home—

To do the Ancient Work they come,

With cheerful hearts and light;

They leave the world without, apace,

And gathering here in secret place,

They spend the social night;

They earn the meed of honest toil,

Wages of CORN, and WINE, and OIL.

 

Upon the sacred Altar lies,

Ah, many a precious sacrifice

Made by these working men:

The passions curbed, the lusts restrained,

And hands with human gore unstained,

And hearts from envy clean;

They earn the meed of honest toil,

Wages of CORN, and WINE, and OIL.

 

They do the deeds THEIR MASTER did;

The naked clothe, the hungry feed

They warm the shivering poor;

They wipe from fevered eyes the tear;

A Brother's joys and griefs they share,

As ONE has done before;

They earn the meed of honest toil,

Wages of CORN, and WINE, and OIL.

 

Show them how Masons, Masons know,

The land of strangers journeying through;

Show them how Masons love,

And let admiring spirits see

How reaches Masons' charity

From earth to Heaven above;

Give them the meed of honest toil,

Wages of CORN, and WINE, and OIL.

 

Then will each Brother's tongue declare

How bounteous his wages are,

And Peace will reign within;

 

102

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

Your walls with skillful hands will grow,

And coming generations know

Your Temple is DIVINE;

Then give the meed of honest toil,

Wages of CORN, and WINE, and OIL.

 

Yes. pay these men their just desert,

Let none dissatisfied depart,

But give them full reward;

Give LIGHT, that longing eyes may see;

Give TRUTH, that doth from error free:

Give them to know the LORD!

Give them the meed of honest toil,

Wages of CORN, and WINE, and OIL.

 

 

THE HOUR GLASS.

 

Life's sands are dropping, dropping,

Each grain a moment dies;

No stay has time, nor stopping—

Behold how swift he flies!

He bears away our rarest—

They smile and disappear;

The cold grave wraps our fairest—

Each falling grain's a tear.

 

Life's sands are softly falling,

Death's foot is light as snow;

'Tis fearful, 'tis appalling,

To see how swift they flow;

To read the fatal warning

The sands so plainly tell;

To feel there's no returning

Through death's dark, shadowy dale.

 

Life's sands give admonition

To use the moments well;

Each grain bears holy mission,

And this the tale they tell:

"Let zeal than time run faster,

Each grain some good afford,

Then at the last THE MASTER

Shall double our reward!"

 

103

 

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

Droops thy bough, oh Cedar tree,

Like yon dear, yon aged form,

Droops thy bough in sympathy,

For the wreck of life's sad storm?

Sad, indeed, his weary age,—

Lonely, now, his princely home,

And the thoughts his soul engage,

Are of winter and the tomb!

 

'Twas for this, oh Cedar tree,

Verdant midst the wintry strife,

'Twas for this he planted thee,

Type of an immortal life,      

That when round his grave in tears

Brothers in their ART combine,

From the store thy foliage bears

Each may cast a portion in!

 

Lo! he comes, oh Cedar tree,

Slowly o'er the frosted plain;

Pauses here the signs to see,

Graven with a mystic pen;

How does each some hope express!

Lighter gleams the wintry sky,

Lighter on his furrowed face

Smiling at the mystery!

 

Soon to rest, oh Cedar tree,

Soon the veteran shall be borne,

There to sleep, and patiently

Wait the resurrection morn.

Thou shalt perish from the earth;

He in sacred youth revive,

Glorious in a better birth,

Truths like these the emblems give.

 

In the lawn that graces an aged Mason's residence stands a Cedar tree, planted in 1836, "for Masonic purposes." Still (in 1853) the withered hand that placed it there to furnish sprigs of ever-green for burial use was strong enough to do the MASTER'S WORK at each Lodge meeting. and still at an age passing the Psalmist's utmost computation, he who planted it waited patiently for the day when its limbs should be bared of their foliage to bestrew his coffin.

 

104

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

EAR OF CORN.

 

Of the water fall 'tis born,

In the nodding fields of corn,

Blest type of Masons' love and plenty;

 

And the hymn of our delight

Shall be this symbol bright,

Singing the type of love and plenty.

CHORUS.—The emblem of plenty,

The rich, GOLDEN EAR,

Gift of a Father of grace ever dear,

Oh, the hymn of our delight,

Shall be of this emblem bright,

Singing the type of love and plenty.

 

Of the bliss of earth it tells,—

Every blessing in it dwells,

Sunshine is on its treasure golden;

And the cooling drops of morn

Have bedewed the nodding CORN,

Ripe in the field of treasure golden.

 

In the nodding EAR OF CORN,

Finds the spirit, weary, worn,

Hopes, hopes of better days in Heaven;

When the harvest toil is done,

And the feasting is begun,

Joy, joy, the Sabbath day of Heaven!

 

Let the golden symbol be

Where the toiling Crafts may see,

Toiling, and never quite despairing;

Of the water fall 'tis born,

In the nodding fields of Corn,

Meet for the soul in its despairing.

 

 

            The Masonic emblem of the EAR OF CORN, though rarely commented upon by our writers, is, in fact, one of the most expressive of all the designs upon our Trestle Board. It is generic, embodying all those symbols that refer to refreshment, rest, holidays, and the slumbers of the grave. In every Lodge the Ear of Corn should constitute one of those conspicuous objects which, like the LETTER G, by attracting the eye, instruct the mind. Its place is over the station of the Junior Warden.

 

105

 

 


THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

WEARING THE EMBLEMS.

 

You wear the SQUARE! but have you got

That thing the Square denotes?

Is there within your inmost soul

That principle which should control

Your actions, words, and thoughts?

The Square of Virtue,—is it there,

Oh, you that wear the Mason's Square?

 

You wear the COMPASS! Do you keep

Within that circle due

That's circumscribed by law divine,

 Excluding hatred, envy, sin,

Including all that's true?

The Moral Compass draws the line,

And lets no evil passions in!

 

You wear the TROWEL! have you got

That mortar, old and pure,

Made on the recipe of God

 

Divulged within His ancient Word,

Indissoluble, sure?

And do you spread, 'twixt man and man,

That precious mixture as you can?

 

You wear the ORIENTAL G!

Ah, Brother, have a care!

He whose All-seeing Eye surveys

Your inmost heart, with open gaze,

Knows well what thoughts are there!

Let no profane, irreverent word

Go up t' insult th' avenging God!

 

You wear the CROSS! it signifies

The burdens JESUS bore,

Who, staggering, fell, and bleeding, rose,

And took to Golgotha the woes

The world had borne before!

The Cross,— oh, let it say, Forgive,

Father, forgive, to all that live!

 

Dear Brother! if you will display

These emblems of our Art,

 

106

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

Let the great morals that they teach

Be deeply graven, each for each,

Upon an honest heart!

Then they will tell, to God and man,

Freemasonry's all-perfect plan!

 

 

FOUNDATION STONE.

 

When the SPIRIT came to Jephtha,

Animating his great heart,

He arose, put on his armor,

Girt his loins about to part,

Bowed the knee, implored a blessing,

Gave the earnest of his faith,

 Then, divinely strung, departed,

Set for victory or death.

 

If a rude, uncultured soldier

Thus drew Wisdom from above,

How should we, enlightened Laborers,

Children of the Sire of Love,

How should we, who know "the Wisdom

Gentle, pure and peaceable,"

Make a prayerful preparation

That our work be square and full!

 

Lo, the future! ONE can read it,

HE its darkest chance can bend.

Lo, our wants, how great, how many!

HE abundant means can lend.

Raise your hearts, then, Pilgrims, boldly

Build and journey in His trust;

Square your deeds by precepts holy,

And the end is surely blest.

 

Vainly will the builders labor

If the OVERSEER be gone;

Vainly gate and wall are guarded

If the ALL-SEEING iS withdrawn;

Only is successful ending

When the work's begun with care;

Lay your blocks, then, Laborers, strongly,

On the Eternal Rock of Prayer.

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

THE VETERANS' GATHERING.

 

Composed for a gathering of Masons at the Grand Union Hotel, New York City, February 15, 1883, in compliment to Brother Rob Morris, of Kentucky.

 

'Tis well nigh forty years ago,

This gallant company set forth,

A warmer-hearted set, I trove,

Hath never graced the earth;

And here we are,— a veteran ring,

A remnant old and gray,

Resolved, whate'er the morn may bring,

To-night we will be gay, dear Boys,

Oh, very glad and gay.

Then close the ranks, touch elbows, Boys,

Old friends are dropping fast,

Close up, close up a manly front,

'Twill all come right at last, dear Boys,

Sure to come right at last.

 

What's three score years to men like you?

The spirit scorns a base control,

Old Time your sturdy backs may bow,

He cannot bend the soul;

The eye that scans an honest life

Nor age nor clouds may dim;

The heart with generous promptings rife

Sings a perpetual hymn, dear Boys,

A bright, perpetual hymn.

 

Shall we begrudge the tender tear

To those who've stemmed the Lethean wave?

Ah, no, 'twill cast no shadows here

To name them in the grave;

We loved them, "there's no fear in love,"

Then reach across the sea,

And hail them in their homes above,

Bright forms of memory, dear Boys,

Best forms of memory.

 

A moment longer,— he whose name

To-night goes round your festive board,

In stammering words and couplets tame

Thus pledges heart and word;

 

"We may not meet again 'till death

Unite us 'neath his power,

 

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

But while I draw the vital breath

I'll not forget this hour, dear Boys,

Never forget this hour!"

Then close the ranks, touch elbows, Boys,

Old friends are dropping fast; Close up, close up a manly front,

'Twill all come right at last, dear Boys,

Sure to come right at last.

 

 

GAVEL.

 

"We meet upon the Level," is the Senior Warden's word,

As he lifts his mystic column in the West,

" We act upon the Plumb"—is the Junior's quick accord,

And to work the brothers hasten with a zest.

But the Gavel is my fancy

Over Level, Square and Plumb,

For it marks the very spirit of command,

In its ringing notes methodic

Every dissonance is dumb,

And a willing spirit hovers o'er the band.

 

"We part upon the Square" is the fiat of the East

When the hour of ten commands us to depart,

And the Junior lifts his column, and the Tyler is released,

And we hurry to the welcome of the heart.

But the Gavel is my fancy,

I shall never cease to cry,

'Tis Celestial music dropping to the earth;

'Tis a memory of the angels

As they heard it in the sky,

When the KING from chaos called creation forth.

 

In the weird and mystic circle, solemn silence brooding round,

There's a something all invisible but strong,

Maybe summoned from the Highest by the Gavel's holy spund,

And it brings the better spirit to the throng.

Oh the Gavel, Master's Gavel,

It shall ever have my praise

While the Book and Symbol whisper "God is love";

In His mighty NAME it speaketh,

All contention it allays,

Till the Lodge below is like the Lodge above.

 

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

THE EMBLEMS OF THE CRAFT.

 

Who wears the SQUARE upon his breast

Does in the face of God attest,—

And in the face of man,

That all his actions will compare

With the divine, the unerring SQUARE,

That squares great Virtue's plan.

And he erects his edifice

By this design, and this, and this.

 

Who wears the LEVEL says that pride

Does not within his soul abide,

Nor foolish vanity;

That man has but a common doom,

And from the cradle to the tomb

An equal destiny.

And he erects his edifice

By this design, and this, and this.

 

Who wears the PLUMB, behold how true

His words and walk! and could we view

The chambers of his soul,

Each hidden thought, so pure and good,

By the stern line of rectitude

Points up to Heaven's goal;

And he erects his edifice

By this design, and this, and this.

 

Who wears the G,— that mark divine, —

Whose very sight should banish sin,

Has faith in God alone;

His Father, Maker, Friend, he knows;

He vows and pays to God his vows

Before the eternal throne;

And he erects his edifice

By this design, and this, and this.

 

Thus life and beauty come to view

In each design our fathers drew,

So glorious and sublime;

Each breathes an odor from the bloom

Of gardens bright beyond the tomb,

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

Beyond the flight of time,

And bids us ever build on this,

The walls of God's own edifice.

 

In reciting this popular piece it should be marked with full esoteric accompaniments, to give it due effect.

 

SETTING A MEMORIAL.

 

We'll set a green sprig here to-night,

To rescue, from the days to come,

Each bright and joyous memory

That henceforth gilds this festive room;

And should occasion e'er require

A token, to recall the place,

THESE LEAVES will bring to clearest view,

The cheerful thought and sunny face.

 

We'll set a green and deathless sprig—

Each leaf a BROTHER'S NAME shall have;

And fragrant will th' acacia bloom

When one has left us for the grave;

When one in Temple labor fails,

And golden bowl is broken quite,

How grateful to the sense will be

The green sprig that we set to-night!

 

We'll set the sprig with every hand,

Come round, and plant the deathless tree!

There is not one in all this band

But what is marked by destiny;

Death comes to all—how well to know

There is a life beyond this scene,

Whose deathless limit may be read,

0, Brothers, in this sacred green!

 

We'll set the green sprig deep in love;

We'll water it with sympathy;

We'll give it fond and faithful care,

Nor shall a single leaflet die;

And when the last of this true band,

Death's mighty puissance shall attest,

May those who follow after say,

FAITHFUL AND TRUE, HOW SWEET THEY REST.

 

These lines embody an expression familiar to the Masonic reader: "Setting a green sprig, that the place may be known should occasion ever require it."

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

SHOE.

 

Take this pledge! it is a token

Of a truth that ne'er was broken,—

Truth which binds the Mystic Tie,

Under the All-seeing Eye.

 

Take this pledge! each ancient Brother,

By this gift bound every other

Firmly, so that death, alone,

Rent the bonds that made them one.

 

Take this pledge! no pledge so holy;

Though the symbol seem but lowly,

'Tis divine! It tells of ONE,

Of the raindrops and the sun.

 

Take this pledge ' the token sealeth

All that judgment day revealeth;

Honor, truth, fraternal Grace,

Brother, in thy hands I place!

 

THE GREEN SPRIG.

 

FROM ME TO THEE, FROM ME TO THEE,

Each whispering leaf a missive be,

In mystic scent and hue to say,

This green and fragrant spray,

In emerald green and rich perfume,

To teach of FAITH that mocks the tomb,

And link the chain FIDELITY,

'Twixt, Brother, thee and me!

 

'In distant land, in olden time,

The ACACIA bore the mark sublime,

And told to each discerning eye

A deathless constancy.

So may these green leaves whisper now,

Inform the heart, inspire the vow,

And link the chain FIDELITY,

'Twixt, Brother, thee and me!

 

 

It was the practice of the members of the now dissolved Order of Conservators, to inclose in all their correspondence with each other a sprig of evergreen.

 

 

 

112
SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

THE SWEEP OF SYMBOLISM.

 

In the conception and arrangement of the following pieces, the writer has imagined himself conducting an intelligent inquirer around and through a well ordered Lodge room, whose lights, furniture, jewels and ornaments are complete in number, appropriate in fallen., and systematic in arrangement.

The neophyte is supposed to enter at the visitor's portal in the southwest, and stand, for a moment, taking in the imagery of the Lodge with a comprehensive look. Then the hierophant addresses him in these fifty-two forms of instruction:

 

I. THE MICROCOSM.

 

"The Freemasons' Lodge is a mierocosm of symbolic forms and colors; a chamber of imagery; a school of moral truth, developed through ancient forms."

 

Bright Microcosm of high celestial types,

World of rare form and color, quaint,

Instructive in eternal laws which bind

All creatures,— yield us now thy truth!

Bear us above the sordid things of time;

For one brief hour; and let us see above,

Below, around this secret chamber, what

The Sages wrote upon the mystic tombs

That yawn in emptiness along the Nile.

 

II. BLUE—THE CELESTIAL COLOR.

 

The cerulean sky, nowhere so deeply blue as in the land of Hiram, affords fitting color for the Masonic Lodge.

 

The o'erarching sky around our busy sphere

Looks down alike on every race of man;

Where'er our feet may wander, there appears

With morning blush and evening's crimsoning,

The sober BhuE prevailing over all.

So should a Mason's charity extend,

To every needy soul, unchecked by clime,

By nation unrestricted, and by tongue!

For where the destitute, there, too, is God,

Calling us thither with an open hand,

To do His charity upon the poor.

 

III APRON — No DEGENERATION.

 

No person can become worse for being a Mason. "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called," says the most philosophical writer of the sacred canon, and the injunction is made practical in Masonry.

 

White, only white, the badge of truth,

Type of unspotted innocence,

The virgin color, lily-white,

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

Tire hue that marks the sheeted dead.

The Lodge Celestial, round the Throne,

The raptured choir, all enrobed in white,

Sing high salvation unto God

Cleansed of all gross impurity,

We toilers in the Moral Fane,

So, humbly wear our garments, white.

 

IV. E., W. AND S.—NORTH, THE PLACE OF DARKNESS.

 

In all systems of ancient rites, the Borean has been stigmatized as the quarter of "frigid cold and cheerless dark."

 

Why tread in gloomy shades, when paths

Of light await the willing steps?

Leave the dark Borean to the feet

Profane— to cowan's feet profane—

To shapeless monsters of the night

That hate the glories of the noon,

Marauders of the dark;—but we,

The ways of pleasantness and paths

Of peace will seek, where Wisdom dwells,

And find her form exceeding fair.

 

V. BEEHIVE—INDUSTRIOUS APPLICATION.

 

A society whose motto is, "Traoel and travail, walk and work," sees practical suggestions to duty in the beehive. Well said the poet, "To do nothing, is to serve the devil and transgress the law of God."

 

None idle here! look where you will, they all Are active, all engaged in meet pursuit; Not happy else. No, for the MASTER'S voice That called them first, is ringing in their ears; Go build! go build! a brief six days of toil I have allotted, arduous toil, but brief; The burden and the heat ye must endure All uncomplainingly,— such is my will, In darksome quarry, and on toilsome mount, And heated wall;— go build! not happy else!

 

VI. HOUR GLASS—FLIGHT OF TIME.

 

 

"So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

 

Voice of the ages, wisdom ever new,

Speaking to Masons, in simplicity,

Soon thy last sand must leave the glass of time;

For while we contemplate them, they grow less,

And even now still less as yet we muse;

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

The Hour Glass bids us gauge the unfinished work

That meets the eye, and sum the amount, and so

With double assiduity to toil;

Each grain recorded in celestial scroll,

Demands of all a corresponding deed.

 

VII. BOOK OF THE LAW—THE MIND OF GOD.

 

As when we turn a vessel upward, during a shower of rain, the drops from Heaven are caught therein, so in the written Word have been caught and retained, in the descent from Heaven, the very thoughts, purposes and will of Him who ruleth all. "In keeping of them there is great reward." "The Bible is the lamp which God threw from his palace down to earth to guide his wandering children home."

 

And can we know the mind of God?

A window to the will Supreme!

And is His purpose all exposed

To human eye, so faint and dim?

Look! open upward broadly lies

The WORD of GOD,— the unerring LAW,

Threatening and promising by turns,

As Masons yield to fear or love.

Oh, be it ours to walk therein,

And at the end have sure reward!

 

 

VIII. ALL-SEEING EYE—SOVEREIGN INSPECTION.

 

That we are never lost to the direct inspection of God is a doctrine as consoling to the faithful workman as alarming to the man servant, the idle and the shirk.

 

Watch me, oh, Master, at my work,

And note my diligence of zeal!

Through the long day my handstrokes fall,

For thou shalt have my utmost strength;

So in the midnight horror; so

In the worst terrors of the storm;

And midst the assassin's thrust, and in

The hour and article of death,

Thy vigilant EYE will surely note,

Thy HAND avert, Thy LOVE abate!

 

IX. CHECKERED PAVEMENT — HUMAN VICISSITUDES.

 

The lesson of human vicissitudes is too obvious to require repetition. Uncertainty and change pervade all the affairs of men.

 

From purest white to deepest black;—

Despair and rapture, fear and joy,—

Misfortune's gloomy discipline,

The happy troop of good success,

Stern hue of death, sweet hue of life,

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

Coldness of winter, summer's heat,

Oh, who can walk from West to East,

Along this mystic floor, nor feel

His deep dependence on the

Hand Invisible that guides his steps?

 

 

X. CABLE TOW— BONDAGE OF DtuTY.

 

To the faithful laborer in the speculative Temple, the four-fold cord, which "is not easily broken," is like the wing of the bird, which incumbers, yet uplifts: strong indeed, yet its restraints are altogether wholesome.

 

A gentle bond, soft as the filmy thread

That strings the dew drops on the sunny morn,

Or gossamer that floats upon the air;

A mighty bond stronger than anchor chain,

Or brazen fetters to the honest soul;

A chain of length, reaching as high as Heaven,

As deep as to the very mountains' roots;

A chain of strength that holds the wayward heart

From drift and danger; admirable bond,

Who would not be constrained with such as this?

 

XI. ARK—SAFETY UNDER DIVINE SIIELTER.

 

In all systems of ancient mythology, the Ark is a type of refuge from danger—the resort in time of impending peril.

 

Type of serenity, we think of thee

When lightnings flout our unprotected heads;

So, when life's storms whip our unhappy souls,

And wild temptation rages in our hearts,

We turn, oh, Masons' Lodge, we yearn for thee,

Another ARK of refuge, tried and sure,

And in thy halls serene regain our strength;

In vain the storm at thy close portals beats;

Life's discords lag without; the voice within Is music; doors secure, and keepers strong.

 

XII. GAVEL—OBEDIENCE:.

 

There is no union of men so orderly as a Freemasons' Lodge. Submissiveness to rule is the sine qua non of the Mason. "The King's wrath," declares our first M. E. Grand Master, " is as the roaring of a lion."

 

As midst the incoherent clash and void

Of the new world, the voice of God rung out,

" Let there be LIGHT, and there was light! " so falls

This gentle monitor, and all is peace

The clangor of debate, the heated breath,

The vow forgotten, and the sharp retort,

Yield sweetly to the GAVE L's strong " Be still!

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

Reason returns with quiet, and she brings

That fine reaction which the generous heart

Moves to confess and heals the rankling wound.

 

XIII. CHARITY-THE GREATEST OF THE THREE.

 

"Now, there abideth faith, hope, charity, these three." This was the expression made, in unusually poetic mood, by a master of the human mind: "these three, but the greatest of these is charity "

 

The soul serene, impenetrably just,

Is first in CHARITY; we love to muse

On such a model; knit in strictest bonds

Of amity with spirits like disposed;

Aiming at truth for her own sake, this man

Passes beyond the golden line of Faith,

Passes beyond the precious line of Hope,

And sets his foot unmoved on CHARITY.

"A soul so softly radiant and so white,

The track it leaves seems less of fire than light."

 

 

XIV. LILY— REMOVING THE STAINED.

 

 

The instinct of self-preservation compels Masons to expel from their Order the "found unworthy." " Put away from among yourselves that wicked person " is a divine injunction.

 

A wail of sorrowing hearts pervades the Lodge,

And flows and bears a volume of sad sounds;

O purity defiled! oh, soiled and smirched,

Who wert so fair! upon our Pillars twain

We hung thine emblem, gathered from the mead,

A modest flower, the LILY, virgin white,

White like the Apron, modest like the soul

That hides the left hand when the right hand gives.

Tear the smirched LILY from its place defiled,

And cast it out, alas, with bitter tears!

 

XV. TROWEL—SPREADING PEACE.

 

The fundamental idea of Freemasonry is peace. "He loveth transgression," declares the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem; "he loveth transgression that loveth strife."

 

Divinest privilege to trowel peace:

Strongest of cement, peace, the bond of Heaven,

Exalted on the everlasting hills:

This makes us fellow laborers with God,

And gives us best assurance of reward.

Peace, holy calm,— it broods within the veil

Where rests the golden Ark, and in the soul

Of gentle Craftsmen, infinite delight;

No sound of Axe discordant breaks the calm

In which the walls of Sion's Fane go up.

 

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

XVI. RULE—UNERRING TRUTH.

 

This emblem — the Rule — teaches that the paths of truth are straight, the portals to her temple are strait, " and few there be that enter therein."

 

What voice, 0 simple RULE, hast thou to warn

And guide the willing toiler on his way?

"Better to journey with the humble few

Who walk the path unerring, than to crowd

Along the broad, meandering paths of sin;

Better in steadfastness to fix the gaze

On Truth's fair Temple where the MASTER sits,

And so, in shortest lines attain the prize,

Than gratify the lawless, roving eye,

In crooked highways ending in despair."

 

XVII. THE ACACIA TREE—SACRED FOLIAGE.

 

The Acacia, or Shittah, is emphatically the Freemason's tree. The Burning Bush of Moses, the Ark of the Covenant and the Altars of the Temple were all of Acacia. It is sacred to the most affecting traditions of the Order. The sap of this tree is the well known Gum Arabic.

 

Thy very tears are precious, holy plant,

Dropt in sad recollections of the past;

The olden Builders knew thy merits well,

And prized, above the cedar, olive, palm,

The rare Acacia, offspring of the wild;

His feet the prophet bared before thy Bush,

Burning, and marvelous, and unconsumed;

Thy wood inclosed the tables of the Law,

In peaceful Sanctum resting; and the blood

Of countless victims on thine Altar flowed.

 

XVIII. EAR OF CORN—BOUNTY OF NATURE.

 

The term Corn, in all Biblical and Masonic passages, is to be read Wheat. This product of nature, in the abounding soil of Palestine, is the finest in the world.

 

Look, traveler, what name you this, that droops

In wondrous heaviness upon the stalk?

Look, traveler, old Canaan hath no gift

That equals this, to speak its MAKER'S praise!

Abounding land'. how lost to early truth

When EAR OF CORN is made the test of doom

The rapid Jordan makes impetuous course,—

The lily specks the hills where Jephthah dwelt,—

The oleander scents the valley sweet

As in his time,—they wake the gloomy thought

Of SHIBBOLETH, the master key of doom!

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

XIX. SPANGLED ARCH—NOCTURNAL SPLENDORS.

 

 

"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou bast ordained, what is man that thou art mindful of him?" In Palestine the stars shine with a brilliance unknown to more northern heavens.

 

Not stars alone, but windows unto Heaven,—

Not lights, affixed in glittering concave,

But chandeliers hung from invisible chains

Held by angelic hands beside the Throne!

0 spangled roof, 0 feeble thought of Heaven,

How grand the night curtained so gloriously!

The watchers of Old Tyre beheld them thus,

And worshiped God; sages of Babylon

Grew old, in study of thy splendors, and

The Bard of Israel sung, from palace roof, thy blaze!

 

XX. SQUARE—IMPLEMENT or PROOF.

 

The emblem of morality, in Masonry, is the implement of proof. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good," is an injunction cheerfully accepted by the Craft.

 

And who is this,—grave, reverend man,— who brings

 With high command THE SQUARE! whose practiced eye

Takes warily in the length and breadth and depth

Of the offered stone! how, with this implement,

He proves the angles, tests the corners each,

Sternly rejects the ashlar reprobate,

Cheerful accepts if, to his scrupulous care,

The block responds! not strange, if in the shock

Of earthquakes and the jarring elements

This wall, built up with such precision, stands!

 

XXI. BROTHERLY LOVE—THE SPIRIT Or THE CRAFT.

 

 

"Bear ye one another's burdens"; " Let brotherly love continue"; "Tychicus, a beloved brother."

 

To suffer long, and yet be kind and true;

To bear the slight and yet retain the love;

To hope, whate'er betide, and still to hope

Through all the gloomy days that life may yield,—

This is the love of Masons,— BROTHERLY LOVE;

This binds the old fraternity with brass

And iron fetters;—while such Love endures,

The rage of foes assaults our fort in vain;

The bigot's hate recoils; palsied the arm

Which strikes a Brotherhood knit by such ties.

 

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

XXII. COMPASSES—BOUNDARY OF PASSION.

 

 

The limit, within which the exercise of the passions of man is allowable, is clearly marked in the use of the ancient emblem, the COMPASSES.

 

 

The grace of God directs this implement;

His gracious hand so separates its limbs

As to inclose a gracious boundary;

He gives us ample scope for every bliss

Of which our nature is susceptible;

Let us, then, Craftsmen, keep within the sphere

His wisdom marks, nor contravene his will

Lust and intemperance, the greed of gain,

Anger and malice, envy, villainy,—

All these outside Me Compass' points are seen.

 

 

XXIII. G-SUGGESTIVENESS OF DIVINE PRESENCE.

 

 

This constant reminder to all Lodge attendants cannot fail to.work happy effects in our age, so profane that the words of the prophet Jeremiah are literally verified: "Because of swearing, the land mourneth."

 

As through an open window into Heaven,

Through this strange symbol, golden, bright, we look,

And muse upon celestial chamber; where

"Upon His glorious throne God sits alone,

Hath ever sat alone, and shall forever sit,

Alone, Invisible, Immortal One!"

The MASTER, o'er whose head the type impends

Names it, awestruck and reverently, God!

Then humbly as the creature should, the

Craft In silent adoration, lowly bows.

 

 

XXIV. CLAY GROUNDS—FOUNDRIES OF THE BRAZEN PILLARS.

 

 

"In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan."

 

How once the furnace fires were heated here!

Here the soft cooing of bright Jordan's dove,

And nightingale's sweet song were silenced all

By roar of Hiram's cupolas! the scent

Of oleander buds, so exquisite,

Lost in thick smoke and soot of molten brass!

Now all is desolate; the poisonous thorn

In matted thickets, guards the gloomy place,

And Hiram's masterpieces are a myth.

 

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY

 

XXV. MOON-NOCTURNAL RULER.

 

The meetings of Lodges in hilly, woody, and unfrequented places, are mostly arranged with reference to the changes of the moon.

 

Thy gentle face calls up the parted years,

Guide of the evening, MOON, the Mason's sun.

Led by thy light, the woodland paths were filled

With cheerful voice—the stilly night was moved

With feet fraternal, thronging to the Lodge.

Sweet MOON, thou peered upon our mysteries,

But saw no motion but what God could bless;

Bending toward the West thy silver light

Admonished of the midnight hour, and led

The happy Craftsmen to domestic joys.

 

 

XXVI. NETWORK — INTERWOVEN FRIENDSHIP.

 

The world observes the union of Masons, and marvels thereat. "A friend loveth at all times,” observes the most shrewd observer of antiquity, "and a brother is born for adversity.”

 

This NET so strong, of thirty centuries,

That gleams on high, in brazen imagery,

Shows an artistic knot at every joint.

Wonderful NETWORK! whose the hand that first

Taught us to tie thy fastenings intricate?

The wants, and woes, and joys, and cares of men,

So shared, so equalized,— whose work is this?

None other than the Artificer's divine!

'Tis the same Unity that reigns in Heaven,

Binding the angels to the throne of God.

 

 

XXVII. OBLONG SQUARE—TRUE TO PERFECT ANGLES.

 

 

The form of Solomon's Temple, an oblong square, with no circular projections suggests a whole class of symbolisms in the moral architecture of Freemasons.

 

Blessed the man who walks not by advice

Of the ungodly, and who standeth not

In the way of sinners, nor in scorner's seat

Doth sit; but in the law of God delights,

And meditates thereon, both day and night;

He shall be like a fruitful, spreading tree,

Planted on river's brink; his fruit shall come

In season, and his leaf shall never fade;

Such are the blessings promised in the Law,

To those who duly form the OBLONG SQUARE.

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

XXVIII. PALM TREE—WATER, SHADE, FRUIT, GRACEFULNESS.

 

This far-famed tree, from which the land of Hiram, Phœnicia, was named, has many rare qualities. At its roots is water; its shaft is the image of gracefulness; its sluule is inexpressibly grateful to the desert dweller; its fruit is the most nutritious grown in the Orient. On the walls of the Temple the palm tree was engraven.

 

Thou sealest up the sum of nature's gifts,

O grateful shaft, that send'st thy shade afar!

The royal sage adorned his olive gates

With thy fair image; for it told of fold'

Delicious to the taste; and grafeful shade

Made by thy thickened foliage, while the sound—

No music in those eastern lands so sweet—

Of trickling water echoed at thy roots.

Perfect in beauty, and with bounty full,

Thou art the chief of Masons' imagery.

 

XXIX. ROUGH ASHLAR—UNFORMED CHARACTER.

 

"The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep."

 

What changes must this quarry stone receive,

Ere the fair statue from its folds looks out!

Shapeless, unsightly — who can tell the form

May yet delight the eye from this rude block?

So with the soul that comes beneath the edge

Of moral implements; we cannot know

What treasure's hidden in that ASHLAR ROUGH,

Until the forming, skillful stroke shall fall,

Divesting of all superfluities,

And leaving just the image God designed.

 

XXX. FORTITUDE—SAFETY OF ESOTERY.

 

 

The coward merits no confidence, nor should he be made a Mason. Under the influence of terror he evinces the openness of the child.

 

In some far oriental land, they tell

Of one, a brave old man, who fairly died

His honor to maintain; rude, violent hands

On him were laid in unexpected hour

And secret place, and he was given to choose

'Twixt vile dishonor and a cruel death.

He died; in FORTITUDE he gave his life,

Redeeming thus the pledge made long before.

His high example for three thousand years

Has formed the model of true courage here.

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

XXXI. FAITH-APPREHENSION OF UNSEEN THINGS,

 

 

"So it was with all the mysteries of faith; God set them forth unveiled tc asked him to investigate them." Our faith in God rests alone in the promises contained in his word.

 

Book of all Books, thou volume most profound,

Whose very words, majestic and sublime,

Excel all others! see, we humbly lay,

And hopefully, undoubted FAITH on thee!

These good right hands we gladly rest on thee;

If thou art false, there is no truth on earth,

No God, no Heaven, no Hell, no lasting hope.

By FAITH we lightly pass beyond the grave,

O'erleap all present evils, and enjoy,

In fond anticipation, boundless good.

 

XXXII. WATER FORD-REMEMBRANCES OF THE EXPLOIT OF

 

The swiftness of the traditional river of Freemasonry explains the cata: ere fell at that time, of the Ephraimites, forty and two thousand."

 

So when we end this dreary tale of life,

And stand upon the river's edge, river of death,

Safe passage, needful aid, good cheer are all

Assured to him who has the needful word.

Dark stream! we shudder at thy gulf profound

Bitter thy waters to sin's votary;

All that a man bath he will give t' escape.

But to the righteous there awaits a guide,

Strong to uphold and gentle to console,

To him who, whispering, safely yields the word.

 

 

XXXIII. ANCHOR- CLINGING TO ASSURED TRUTH.

 

A true Mason may veer amidst tides and storms the length of his cable, but he will never drift.

 

Good anchorage our MASTER bath secured,—

Strong cable to the Master's bark is fixed,—

Brave ANCHOR, rooted firmly in the rock,—

What wreck, what peril can befall us now?

The storms may break,—they enter every life;

Foes may assault,— all good men live at war;

Time may install harshest vicissitudes,

And threaten all that timid souls can fear;—

Yet our good ANCHOR holds, will ever hold,

And we shall close our voyage in peace at last.

 

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

XXXIV. HERMON—MouNT OF COOLING DEWS.

 

 

The elevation of this grand mountain, securing a cap of snows all through the sultry months, makes it a regulator of the atmosphere through its cooling dews. The expression "the dew of Hermon," in the opening of the Entered Apprentices' Lodge, is therefore an exquisite suggestion of Brotherly Love.

 

In sultry eve, oppressed with dust and toil,

The burning earth conspiring with the air,

The pilgrim waits, in deep suspense, the fall

Of Hermon's dews. It comes; like angel guest,

The cooling mist, down from the snowy crown,

Brings tone and gladness. The wanderer sleeps,

Devoutly grateful for the mountain joy;

So in the heat and dust of mortal strife,

The influence of Brotherly Love is seen,

Cooling and calming the o'erheated soul.

 

XXXV. BROKEN COLUMN—SUDDEN AND VIOLENT DEATH.

 

The application of this emblem is trite to every Mason.

 

Too soon, too soon, alas! for earth and us,

The temple yet unfinished, he is gone;

Weep, Craftsmen, not for him,— is not his fame

Secure?—but for the stricken mourners left.

Who, now, on tracing board, shall wisely draw

The strange device that binds the finished work

With the undone, making a perfect Fane,

By closing up in one the Grand Design?

Fallen the stroke, the inexorable blow,

Too soon, too soon, alas! for earth and us.

 

XXXVI. BOAZ -THE LEFT-HAND PILLAR.

 

"He reared up the pillars before the Temple, and called the name of that on the left, Boaz." The terms right and left being reckoned from the position of a person looking east, BOAZ was on the north side of the porch. The word Boaz denotes strength.

 

Not strength for slaughter, strength to desolate

And strew the earth with legions of our race;

But strength to uphold the falling, strength to check

The erring, strength to build and not destroy.

In this our Craftsmen are confederate,—

Like network knotted, they're a web of strength,

Grand PILLAR, next the heart, thy gleaming cap

Looked out in glory toward the rising sun,

Bidding our souls be strong! "BoAz, in strength

God will establish all His promises!"

124

 

 

 


SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

XXXVII. SPADE-TILLAGE AND INTERMENT.

 

 

The same implement that opens the bosom of mother earth in the operations of the husband-man turns up the sod for the interment of the dead.

 

Are graves of man indeed a hopeless night,

That has no morn beyond it, and no star,

Wherein life's music ends forevermore?

Then, whence these transformations?

Lo, the root And tiny seed cast in the self-same earth,

Escape entombment! see them burst above,

With power irresistible, and clothe

The conquered earth with leaves and blossoms fair!

Have comfort, then, ye sons of heavenly hope,

The voice of God shall call our buried up.

 

 

XXXVIII. CORN— EMBLEM OF NOURISHMENT.

 

 

The wheat of Palestine is the heaviest and most productive that is cultivated. It was, therefore, one of the three conservating elements of Solomon's Temple, chosen as a representative of the country's best products.

 

We feed and worship, Author of our life,

Nourished by Thee. All through the changing year

Thou guid'st the seasons that we may not want.

The yielding furrow Thy command obeys,

And gives its CORN to consecrate our Lodge.

Oh, bounteous source of food, this precious grain,

Thus scattered on our altars, let it bring

Blessings of nourishment to after years,

Strength'ning the generations that shall fill

These chambers, when our pilgrimage is done!

 

 

XXXIX. WINE-EMBLEM OF REFRESHMENT

 

The grapes of Palestine form the heaviest clusters of any known, and their wine is extremely sound and wholesome. It was, therefore, with corn and oil, one of the three conservating elements of Solomon's Temple, chosen as a representative of the country's best products.

 

We drink and worship, Author of our life,

Refreshed by Thee. All through the changing year

Thou guid'st the seasons that we may not want;

The stony hillside Thy command obeys,

And gives its WINE to consecrate our Lodge.

Oh, bounteous Source of good, this precious WINE

Thus sprinkled on our altars, let it bring

Refreshment's blessings to the coming years,

Gladdening the generations that shall fill

These chambers, when our pilgrimage is done!

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

XL. OIL — EMBLEM of Joy.

 

The olive oil of Palestine is of the heaviest and purest. It was, properly, one of the three conservating elements of Solomon's Temple, chosen as a representative of the country's best products.

 

With OIL anointed, Author of our life,

Joyful we worship; through the changing year

Thou guid'st the seasons that we may not want;

The rocky cleft Thy great command obeys,

And gives its OIL to consecrate our Lodge.

Oh, bounteous Source of good, this precious OIL

Thus dripping on our altars, let it bring

Blessings of joy to all the coming years,

Cheering the generations that shall fill

These chambers, when our pilgrimage is done!

 

 

XLI. PLUMB LINE—UPRIGHTNESS.

 

The duty of rectitude, "Upright standing in the presence of God and man," is strongly suggested by this emblem: "Walk honestly toward them that are without."

 

We cannot hear His voice or see His face,

Yet, looking up along the unerring LINE,

We see it points Him on His radiant throne.

Earth's center is beneath the foot of God,

And they will please Him best who bear the head

Erect, and walk uprightly on the earth.

'Twas thus with Hiram, widow's son,—he stood

Among the Builders like a polished shaft,

Along whose sides the PLUMB LINE vainly sought

A trace of deviation from the proof.

 

 

XLII. POT OF INCENSE—OVERFLOW of GRATITUDE.

 

 

The ascending smoke, composed of the exquisitely compounded spices require, by the Jewish ritual, afforded the best type of grateful prayer ascending from pious hearts.

 

"For He is good,"—went up the exultant cry

Of Israel's millions on their faces bowed.

"For He is good,"—our grateful hearts respond,

When at the morn we pray, and at the eve.

What dues we owe Him, creatures of His care!

What treasures from His liberal hand we take,

Of Corn and Oil and Wine! oh, at the close

May our enraptured tongues in Heaven be heard

At God's right hand, in glory evermore,

Hymning forever the Creator's praise!

 

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

XLIII. CEDAR TREE—EoeLEal of ENDURANCE.

 

So enduring is the wood of the Lebanon cedar, that it is not extravagant to assert, " had not the Temple of Solomon been burned, its cedar beams would yet be found undecayed, after three thousand years."

 

Type of endurance, child of the mountain tops,

Companion of the eagle, born midst snows

And desolation, tree of Lebanon!

With toil and weariness thy trunks were brought

Seaward, by Joppa, to this honored site.

Here, with the olive and acacia strong

Wedded to marble, gold, and precious gems,

Thy wood was consecrate in work divine.

Time spared thy glory, time and gnawing worm

But left thee victim to the foeman's torch.

 

XLIV. TRUTH—FOUNDATION or EVERY VIRTUE.

 

" Oh, truth, divinely sweet and fair,

The crystal springs of life are thine!

The light of years thy garments bear,

The stars of ages o'er thee shine;

Inwrought with every circling sphere

Born of a heavenly atmosphere."

And so, at last, we find the basis stone,

The sure foundation of all virtues, TRUTH.

Through layers of materials select,

All rich, and rare, and gathered from afar,

And prized alike by angels and good men,

And hated by all those who hate the light,

We come to this, the deepest and the best!

This holds them all, and well may hold them all;

For 'tis the richest gem in Crown divine,

And sparkles brightest on the Orient Throne.

 

XLV. HILL AND DALE —LOCAL SECURITY.

 

 

The character of Palestine, a country of lofty hills and intervening valleys, gives point to the legend that "our ancient brethren met on the highest hills and in the lowest dales."

 

What caution marked the early Craft who met

In Canaan's dale, or Canaan's mountain top!

They sought in nature their security.

And scared the eagle from his rocky crag,

And drove him screaming at their opening lays;

They dazed the darkness with intruding torch,

Whispering their secrets in the chilly cave,

Teaching their lore from all intrusion free;

 

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

Thus it befalls, this ancient land is filled

With myths of wondrous meaning, dim and quaint.

 

XLVI. COFFIN-MANSION OF UNDISTURBED REST.

 

There is a serenity pervades this emblem when we view it as a type of undisturbed rest.

 

No cares shall meet the silent sleeper here;

No foes annoy; kind mother earth, wherein

He lies, surrounds him fostering, in her arms;

She plants fair flowers above him; storms may beat

Her bosom, opened to the winter's rage,—Ile is secure,—she is his sure defense; " Clods of the valley shall be sweet to him, And friends shall come and with him make abode." Mansion of rest, the stillness and the gloom Can bring no horrors to thy quiet home!

 

XLVII. LAMB — INNOCENCE.

 

 

The idea of the lamb runs throughout Scriptural and Biblical teaching; everywhere it is reck-)ned the emblem of innocence.

 

Invested thus in garb of innocence,

Robed as the angels are who soar and sing,

We cast our yearning eyes to that sure time

When on Celestial Hills our happy feet

As in the lamb-like days of youth shall stray;

Oh, freed from all defilements, freed from sin,

And from sin's sequel, children once again,

In knowledge men, but in transgression babes;

LAMB of the happy springtime, 'twas from thee

The SINLESS took His title,—Lamb of God!

 

XLVIII. GLOBES - ASSURANCE OF TRADITION.

 

 

"Brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught." " Withdraw your-;elves from every brother that walketh not after the tradition which ye received."

 

In Oriental memories there dwells

A store of truths, dropped out of history,

But precious none the less; from sire to son,

From age to age a rich inheritance,

These grains of gold have passed; in ballads some

Are sung, when village loiterers sit down

To while the evening hour; in nurse's croon

Above a sleeping babe these myths are heard;

And when a fiery youth goes forth to war

His soul is kindled high with truths like these.

 

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SYMBOLICAL MASONRY.

 

 

XLIX. OLIVE TREE—UNCOUNTED LIBERALITY.

 

 

" Who gives what others may not see,

Nor counts on favor, fame or praise,

Shall find his smallest gift outweighs

The burden of the mighty sea."

 

 

The doors of King Solomon's Temple were constructed of olive wood, as being the most elegant wood of the Orient.

 

To oldest age the OLIVE yields its wealth

In streams of oil; the oldest gives the most

And gives the best; tree of a thousand years,

Ragged and gnarled, none worthier than thou

To close the entrance of the Holy Fane;

The worshiper who bowed adoring, read

The lessons of the OLIVE; —secret grace

That gives divinely; and unstinted grace

That knows no scant of flow; and that best grace

That flows still faster, richer to the end.

 

 

L. HOPE—FIXED UPON GOD.

 

 

The hope that Masonry teaches is in God. Seeking hope elsewhere is like "seeking mellow grapes beneath the icy pole, or blooming roses on the cheek of death."

 

To life's worst labyrinth there is a clew,

A thread of silk that leads the traveler

Through losses, crosses, sicknesses, and deaths,

And gives him entrance to the central place;

'Tis HOPE, the anchor of the soul,—

'tis HoPE, Steadfast and sure, a very gift of Heaven;

How could our Temple ever be complete,

So great the work, so f:eble we who build,

But for this aid? the six days' work so long,

The summer's heat so strong, the toil so great!

 

 

LI. RAINBOW—CHEERFUL HOI'E.

 

 

The essential idea of refreshment after labor suggests cheerful hope. "The most Holy One requires a cheerful life." "There is joy in Heaven." "There shall be no more sorrow nor crying." The earth shall no more be destroyed by a flood.

 

Gorgeous in h'ue, a painted arch is drawn

Across the sky, late blackened and enraged,

A brilliant monitor, celestial cheer;

From the bright picture falls the voice divine,—

After the thunder's roar how soft and low!

"The earth no more shall perish by a flood."

 

 

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THE POETRY OF FREEMASONRY.

 

 

Oh, in the quiet of the Masons' Lodge

Where every emblem breathes of harmony,

How fit the iridescent bow to span

Our spangled arch, and bring its comfort home.

 

LII. RELIEF-THE DIVINE REPRESENTATIVE.

 

 

In the the sublime allegory of " the Judgment Day " the TEACHER clearly expresses the thought that distressed human being is the representative of God."

 

We need not rise above this mundane sphere,

We need not 'neath the briny deep descend

To find the Deity; but on the path

Where blind Bartimeus begs, the Lord is seen;

Upon the fever couch He lies a