Masonic Poems

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To meet upon the level
Is an easy thing to say,
But when it comes to practice,
Do we do it every day?
Do we meet him on the level,
If the Brother chance to be
Just a little out at elbow
Or baggy at the knee?

When we meet him in the workshop,
Do we greet him with the grip
That we do the noted statesman
On a European trip?
Do we meet him on the level
And give him just the chance
That we do the dashing fellow
With the creases in his pants?

If fortune does not smile on him
In sunshine and repose,
Do we meet him on the level
In his second-handed clothes?
Do we invite him to our church,
And seat him in our pew,
And warm our hearts by clasping hands
As Brothers ought to do?

Yes, we meet him on the level,
On the broad Masonic plan,
Whenever we know him to be
A Mason and a man.
We'll meet him on the level,
And part upon the square,
And then perhaps he'll vouch for us
When we meet him over there.

There is a saying filled with cheer,
Which calls a man to fellowship.
It means as much for him to hear
As lies within the brother-grip.
Nay, more! It opens wide the way
To friendliness sincere and true;
There are no strangers when you say
To me: "I sat in lodge with you."

When that is said, then I am known;
There is no questioning or doubt;
I need not walk my path alone
Nor from my fellows be shut out.
These words hold all of brotherhood
And help me face the world anew -
There's something deep and rich and good
In this: "I sat in lodge with you."

Though in far lands one needs must roam,
By sea and shore and hill and plain,
Those words bring him a touch of home
And lighten tasks that seem in vain.
Men's faces are no longer strange
But seem as those he always knew
When some one brings the joyous change
With his: "I sat in lodge with you."

So you, my brother, now and then
Have often put me in your debt
By showing forth to other men
That you your friends do not forget.
When all the world seems gray and cold
And I am weary, worn and blue,
Then comes this golden thought I hold --
You said: "I sat in lodge with you."

When to the last great Lodge you fare
My prayer is that I may be
One of your friends who wait you there,
Intent on your smiling face to see.
We, with the warder at the gate,
Will have a pleasant task to do;
We'll call, though you come soon or late:
"Come in! We sat in lodge with you!"

Wherever you may chance to be--Wherever you may roam,
Far away in foreign lands; Or just at Home Sweet Home;
It always gives you pleasure, it makes your heart strings hum
Just to hear the words of cheer, "I see you've travelled some."

When you get a brother's greeting, And he takes you by the hand,
It thrills you with a feeling that you cannot understand,
You feel that bond of brotherhood that tie that's sure to come
When you hear him say in a friendly way "I see you've travelled some."

And if you are a stranger, In strange lands all alone
If fate has left you stranded--Dead broke and far from home,
It thrills you--makes you numb, When he says with a grip of fellowship,
"I see you've travelled some."

And when your final summons comes, To take a last long trip,
Adorned with Lambskins Apron White and gems of fellowship--
The Tiler at the Golden Gate, With Square and Level and Plumb
Will size up your pin and say "Walk In", "I see you've travelled some."

I do not attend the meetings,
for I've not the time to spare.
But every time they have a feast ,
you will surely find me there.

I cannot help with the degrees,
for I do not know the work.
But I sure can applaud the speaker,
and handle a knife and fork.

I'm so rusty in the ritual,
that it seems like Greek to me,
but practice has made me perfect
in the knife and fork degree.

Last night I knelt where Hiram knelt
And took an obligation.
Today I'm closer to my God
And I'm a Master Mason.

Tho' heretofore my fellow men
Seemed each one like the other,
Today I search each one apart'
"I'm looking for my Brother."

And, as I feel his friendly grip,
It fills my heart with pride;
I know that while I'm on the square,
That he is on my side.

His footsteps on my errand go
If I should such require;
His prayers will plead in my behalf
If I should so desire.

My words are safe within his breast
As though within my own;
His hand forever at my back
To help me safely home.

Good counsel whispers in my ear
And warns of any danger;
By Square and Compass, Brother now!
Who once would call me stranger.

I might have lived a moral life
And risen to distinctions
Without my brother's helping hand
And fellowship of Masons.

But God, who knows how hard it is
To resist life's temptations,
Knows why I knelt where Hiram knelt
And took that obligation.

"Let there be light." Jehovah said,
And primal darkness heard and fled;
Then, as the waters from the land;
He parted with almighty hand;

Light ridged the mountain chain with gold;
Light through the vales in glory rolled;
Light silvered ocean, lake and stream;
Light made the pall-like vapors gleam;

Light shone the forest vistas through;
Light gave the sky it's burning blue;
Light fell in life-awakening showers;
On torpid leaves and sleeping flowers;

And all the universe waxed bright
Robed in it's makers effluence-light.
There is a darkness of the mind;
As thick as dark, as undefined;

Ere God had said, " Let there be light."
But as creations morning burst;
On chaos, and the gloom dispersed;
So does the " Day star from on high."

Light to the darkened soul supply;
As that which wrapped the world in night;
So does God's grace, that ray divine;
On the beseeching sinner shine;

Dispelling from the soul despair;
And shedding floods of glory there;
Oh, when there's doubt and gloom within;
Black fruits of un-repented sin;

Search thou this book, and searching pray;
So shall thy sin be washed away;
So shall a beam illuminate thy night;
From him who said, " Let there be light."

Ten Master Masons, happy, doing fine;
One listened to a rumour, then there were nine.

Nine Master Masons, faithful, never late;
One didn't like the "Master", then there were eight.

Eight Master Masons, on their way to heaven;
One joined to many clubs, then there were seven.

Seven Master Masons, life dealt some hard licks;
One grew discouraged, then there were six.

Six Master Masons, all very much alive;
One lost his interest, then there were five.

Five Master Masons, wishing there were more;
Got into a great dispute, then there were four.

Four Master Masons, busy as could be;
One didn't like the programs, then there were three.

Three Master Masons, was one of them you?
One grew tired of all the work, then there were two.

Two Master Masons with so much to be done;
One said "What's the use", then there was one.

One Master Mason, found a brother - true!
Brought him to the Lodge, then there were two.

Two Master Masons didn't find work a bore;
Each brought another, then there were four.

Four Master Masons saved their Lodges fate;
By showing others kindness, then there were eight.

Eight Master Masons, loving their Lodges bright sheen;
Talked so much about it, they soon counted sixteen.

Sixteen Master Masons, to their obligations true;
Were pleased when their number went to thirty-two.

So we can't put our troubles at the Lodges door;
It's our fault for harming the Lodge we adore.

Don't fuss about the programs or the "Master" in the East;
Keep your obligation by serving even the very least.

Adieu! a heart-warm, fond adieu;
Dear Brothers of the Mystic Tie!
Ye favour'd, ye enlighten'd few,
Compainions of my social joy!
Tho' I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing Fortune's slidd'ry ba';
With the melting heart and brimful eye,
I'll mind you still, tho' far awa.

Oft have I met your social band,
And spent the cheerful, festive night;
Oft, honour'd with supreme command,
Presided o'er the Sons of Light;
And by that Hieroglyphic bright,
Which none but Craftsmen ever saw!
Strong Mem'ry on my heart shall write
Those happy scenes, when far awa.

May Freedom, Harmony, and Love,
Unite you in the Grand Design,
Beneath th' Omniscient Eye above--
The glorious Architect Devine--
That you my keep th' Unerring Line,
Still rising by the Plummet's Law,
Till Order bright completely shine,
Shall be my pray'r, when far awa.

And You farewell! whose merits claim
Justly that Highest Badge to wear;
Heav'n bless your honour'd, noble Name,
To Masonry and Scotia dear!
A last request permit me here,
When yearly ye assemble a',
One round, I ask it with a teat,
To him, the Bard that's far awa.

They drink, carouse, like any Bacchus
And swallow strongest Wines that rack us;
And then it is they lay Foundation
Of Masonry, to build a nation.
They various Healths strait put around,
To ev'ry airy Female Sound;
But Sally Dear's the Fav'rite Toast,
Whose Health it is they drink the most?

Rich was the Temple framed of old,
Of Hermon's cedars, lined with gold,
By princely architect of Tyre:
And bright the flames of sun and fire,
Built many an hundred years ago,
In Ind or Western Mexico.

By fabrics formed by human hand,
Though they in noblest grandeur, stand
On lofty pillars, rich and rare.
Of burnished gold, can ne'er compare
With living temples, pure and fine,
Built by the Architect Divine.

Let us, who live in latter days,
To God a nobler temple raise,
With cornerstone deep laid in youth.
While knowledge, temperance and truth,
In all their fair proportion bind
That noble temple of the mind.

Let fortitude the basis be
And high resolve the plethory;
The stones shall be of reason's proof,
Celestial love shall form the roof,
And prudence at the threshold stay
To drive each vagrant guest away.

Within shall seven pillars shine,
The purest product of the mine;
Religion, honor, gratitude,
Nor shall the moon and stars by night
Withhold their kind and needful light,
That your work may be finished here
When the Grand Master shall appear.

Are your glasses charged in the West and South, the Worshipful Master cries: They're charged in the West. They're charged in the South, are the Warden's prompt replies; Then to our final toast to-night your glasses fairly drain "Happy to meet -sorry to part-happy to meet again!" The Masons' social brotherhood around the festive board, Reveal a wealth more precious far than selfish miser's hoard, They freely share the pricesless stores that generous hearts contain, "Happy to meet -sorry to part-happy to meet again!" We work like Masons free and true and when our task is done, A merry song and cheering glass are not unduly won; And only at our farewell pledge is pleasure touched with pain, "Happy to meet -sorry to part-happy to meet again!" Amidst our mirth we drink "To all poor Masons o'er the world" On every shore our flag of love is gloriously unfurled, We prize each brother, fair or dark, who bears no moral stain, "Happy to meet -sorry to part-happy to meet again!" The Mason feels the noble truth the Scotish peasant told, That rank is but the guinea's stamp, the man himself's the gold, With us the rich and poor unite and equal rights maintain, "Happy to meet -sorry to part-happy to meet again!" Dear brethren of the mystic tie, the night is waning fast, Our duty's done, our feast is o'er this song must be our last, "Good night." "Good night." Once more, once more repeat the farewell strain, "Happy to meet -sorry to part-happy to meet again!"

I saw them tearing a building down
A gang of men in a busy town,
With a Ho - Heave - Ho and lusty yell,
They swung a beam and a side wall fell.

I asked the foreman, are these men skilled,
As the men you would hire if you had to build.
The foreman laughed, no indeed
Just common labour is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two,
What it has taken others years to do.

I asked myself as I walked my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play.
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life with a Rule and Square,
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labour of tearing down.

What of your Masonry? Is it put by,
Doffed with your Apron, forgotten to lie
Dormant and void, inefficient and vain,
Till in the Lodge you resume it again.

Listen my Brother, true Masonry dwells
Out in the world, not in dungeons and cells.
It feeds the hungry, defends the oppressed,
Lifts those that languish and soothes the distressed.

Masonry's place is in the shop, street and store
Fully as much as behind the tiled door;
'Tis not a thing to be hidden away,
It should be worn, used, and lived every day.