A Collection of 18th Century
Masonic Toasts and Songs

 


Toasts:

According to what we know of eighteenth century customs among
Masons, Toast followed Toast the evening through, the Brethren
holding firmly to the belief that "the bonds of friendship always
tighten when they are wet."


"Charge, Brethren! Charge your glasses to the top,
My toast forbids the spilling of a drop."


May ev'ry Mason RISE in the EAST,
find refreshment in the SOUTH,
and be so dismissed in the WEST,
as to find admission into the middle chamber
to receive the reward of a GOOD MAN.
 


Love to ONE, friendship to a FEW, and good will to ALL.

 


Charge, then, with Liquid Powder,
Each his sound-bottom'd Bumper;
As to the King
And Craft we sing,
It should be with a Thumper.
 


To HIM, who all things understood,
To HIM, who furnished the stone and wood,
To HIM, who nobly spilt his blood - in doing of his duty;
We hail the day! We hail the morn!
On which those three great men were born!
Who did the TEMPLE thus adorn
With WISDOM, STRENGTH and BEAUTY.


The following was called "The Tyler's Toast"
and was participated in by the officers

 

WM  =  Are the Warden's glasses charged?

Tyler  =  Are your glasses charged in the West and South?

SW  =  They're charged in the West.

JW  =  They're charged in the South.

Tyler  = Then to our final Toast tonight your glasses fairly drain . .

SW  =  Happy to meet.

JW  =  Sorry to part.

Tyler  =  Happy to meet again.

JW  =  The Mason's social Brotherhood around the Festive Board,
           Reveals a wealth more precious far than selfish miser's hoard.
           They freely share the priceless stores that generous hearts contain.

SW  =  Happy to meet.

JW  =  Sorry to part.

Tyler  =  Happy to meet again.

SW  =  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.

SW  =  Happy to meet.

JW  =  Sorry to part.

Tyler  =  Happy to meet again.

Wm  =  The Mason feels the noble truth the Scottish peasant told,
            That rank is but the guinea stamp, the man himself's the gold.
            With us the rich and poor unite and equal Rights maintain.

SW  =  Happy to meet.

JW  =  Sorry to part.

Tyler  =  Happy to meet again.

IG  =  The Widow's sons are scattered wide,
          throughout the Universe,
          some in the sere and yellow leaf, in poverty or worse.
          May Mason's love extend to these
          such help as they require,
          and safe return to their native land,
          if such is their desire.

(Wm signals for all to stand.)

Tyler  =  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, but ere we part,
             all join in the farewell strain:

All  =  Happy to meet. Sorry to part. Happy to meet again!


Songs of Masonic Merriment



SONG
(From Cole's "Antient Constitutions", 1731)

Let malicious People censure;
They're not worth a Mason's answer.
While we drink and sing,
With no Conscience sting,
Let their evil Genius plague `em,
And for Mollies Devil take `em,
We'll be free and merry,
Drinking Port and Sherry,
Till the Stars at Midnight shine,
and our Eyes with them combine,
The dark Night to banish;
This we will replenish
Nature, whilst the Glasses
With the bottles passes:
Brother Mason free,
Here's to thee, to thee;
And let it, let it run the Table round,
While envy does the Masons Foes confound.

 



SONG

(The following are from Cole's "Antient Constitutions", 1731)

As I at Wheeler's Lodge one Night
Kept Bacchus company;
For Bacchus is a Mason bright,
And of all Lodges free... free... free..

Said I, great Bacchus is adry,
Pray give the God some Wine;
Jove in a Fury did reply,
October's as divine... divine... divine.

It makes us Masons more compleat,
Adds to our Fancy Wings,
Makes us as happy and as great
As mighty Lords and Kings... Kings... Kings.

 



SONG

The World is all in Darkness,
About us they conjecture;
But little think
A Song and Drink
Succeeds the Masons' Lecture.

Then, Landlord, bring a Hogshead,
And in the Corner place it,
Till it rebound
With hollow Sound,
Each Mason here will face it.

Chorus
Fill to him,
To the Brim;
Let it round the Table roll.
The Divine
Tells ye, Wine
Cheers the Body and the Soul.
 



CATCH
(From "A Master-Key to Free-Masonry", 1760)

Ye Brethern all,
Whom Freemasons men call,
Without care or strife,
In joy pass this life.
Be a full brimmer still,
Your defence `gainst all ill,
And the jovial glass fill,
To the health of all, Freemasons all,
We are Brethren, both great and small.

 



SONG
(The following are from "The Free Masons Pocket Companion",
Glasgow, 1771)

He that will not merry merry be,
With a generous bowl and a toast,
May he in Bridewell be shut up,
And fast bound to a post.
Let him be merry merry there,
And we'll be merry merry here;
For who can know where we shall go,
To be merry another year?

 



SONG

Pray don't sleep or think,
But give us some drink,
for `faith I'm most plaguily dry,
Wine chears up the soul,
Then fill up the bowl,
For `ere long you all know we must die.

 



SONG

Then fill up the goblet, and deal it about;
Each brother will see it thrice twenty times out.
Our pleasures, as well as our labours, can tell,
How free-hearted Masons all mankind excell.

 



SONG

(The following are from "A Selection of Masonic Songs",
Dublin, 1802)


When the glass goes round,
Then mirth and glee abound,
We're all happy to a man;
We laugh a little, we drink a little,
We work a little, we play a little,
We sing a little, are merry a little,
And swig the flowing can.

 



SONG

Hark the Hiram sounds to close,
And we from work are free,
We'll drink and sing, and toast the King,
And the Craft with a hearty three times three.

Hark, the Clock repeats high twelve,
It can't strike more we all well know;
Then ring, ring, ring, ring the bell,
For another bowl before we go.

Coming, coming, coming Sir, the waiter cries,
With a bowl to drown our care,
We're a hearty set on the level met,
And we always part on the square.

 



SONG

Then charge my dear Brethren, a bumper all round,
To the brim fill each glass, let no day-light be found;
Here's a health to all Masons who honour the name,
By walking upright, and observing the same.

 



SONG

(From "Ahiman Rezon", by Laurence Dermott in 1764)

Come, come my Brethren dear,
Now we're assembled here,
Exalt your Voices clear,
With Harmony;
Here's none shall be admitted in,
Were he a Lord, a Duke, or King,
He's counted but an empty Thing,
Except he's free.

Chorus

Let ev'ry Man take Glass in Hand,
Drink Bumpers to our Master Grand,
As long as he can sit or stand,
With Decency.


SONG
The Man who is Kind to Another

(derived from a song in Anderson's Constitutions, dated 1723)

This life is so hard and so stony,
That if a man is to get through
He need have the courage of Nelson
And plenty of Job's patience too.
But a man who is kind to another,
And cheerfully helps him along,
God bless such a man and a Brother,
And here's to his health in a song.

And here's to his health - here's to his health,
And here's to his health in a song.
This life is as cheerless as winter
To those who are cold in the heart,
But the man who is warm in his nature
Bids winter forever depart.
The ground that he treads on will blossom
Till beauties around him will throng,
God bless such a man and a Brother,
And here's to his health in a song.

As clouds that in summer are open
And silvered by light passing through,
So men who are generous in spirit
Are blessed by the good deeds they do.
There's nothing like helping another,
For getting one's own self along;
Who does this is truly a Brother,
And here's to his health in a song.

----------------------------

Note:  The following related info was received from Brother
Terence Haunch:

Dear Ray Dotson  

In browsing the Internet recently I chanced upon your www.masonicsites.org web page and was very interested in the various links it offered and one in particular which I'll come to in a moment. Let me first introduce myself. I am a former Librarian and Curator of the Museum for the United Grand Lodge of England at Freemasons' Hall, London. I am also senior Past Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No.2076 on the register of the UGLE, and, like yourself, am a full member of the Texas Lodge of Research having delivered the Anson Jones Lecture there in 1984.

 
The site I mentioned above was that with 'A Collection of 18th Century Masonic Toasts and Songs' and it was the last song on that page 'The Man who is Kind to Another' that caught my attention. This song is popular in English lodges where it is sung on Installation nights when the toast of the newly installed master is proposed at the dinner following the ceremony with all the brethren present joining in each the repeated chorus "And here's to his health in a song". The Author of this song was in fact a Lancashire business man,  Richard Rome Bealey (1828-1887) who had been made a mason in Operative Lodge, No.47, in Dundee, Scotland, and it was first printed in a collection of verse published by him in 1866 under the title Field Flowers and City Chimes.


 


 


 

 

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