Collected by Ray Dotson PM
 

THE MASTER'S APRON

In the glorious hour of dawning
When the sun begins to peep

From above the farthest hilltops,
To arouse us from our sleep;
Then we pray to God our Master
To direct us through the day,
To avoid the trials and pitfalls
That assail us on our way.

When the sun at high meridian,
The glory of the day,
Informs each weary pilgrim
That he's half along the way;
Then we turn to God all glorious
For strength to stand the test
That will give us welcome entry
In that dwelling of the Blest.

The sun in the west at evening
Marks the closing of our day;
Then we cry to God our Father
And to Him humbly pray
For grace that's all sufficient,
For love that's all sublime,
That will guard us through the Valley
And bring us Home in time.

Thanks to Bro. David Wallace in England, I can
now give proper credit for this fine poem.
It was written by J. F. Clendening, P.G.M. of Tenn.
This poem is also published in

www.phoenixmasonry.org/the_builder_1922_march.htm

Further note....
Researchers at the GL of Tennessee have assured me that there
was never a PGM of TN by the name of Clendening.  The final
credit for this fine poem must simply be J.F. Clendening.  This does
not detract from it's quality and Masonic content.  RPD

 

Last Night I Knelt
Where Hiram Knelt

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

Though 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 while I am on the square
that he is by my side.

His footsteps on my errand go
if I should such require.
His prayers will lead 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 distinction
without my Brothers helping hand
and the 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.


(author unknown)

 

 

I See You've Traveled Some

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 traveled some."

When you get the brother's greeting
and he takes you by the hand,
it thrills you with a feeling
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 traveled some."

And if you are a stranger
in a strange land, all alone
If fate has left you stranded,
dead broke and far from home,
if a stranger stops and takes your hand,
it thrills you - makes you dumb,
when he says with a grip of fellowship,
"I see you've traveled some."

And when your final summons comes
to take a last long trip.
Adorned with Lambskin Apron white
and gems of fellowship.
The Tiler at the Golden Gate
with square and rule and plumb
will size up your deeds and say "Walk in,
I see you've traveled some."

(author unknown)

 

 


ON THE COMMON
©  by Ray Dotson, Webmaster


The Cap'n says to stand our ground
and not to start the fight,
but if they mean to have a war
then this will be the site.
He has the drummers beatin' time;
he has them play the fife --
And every Red Coat hears it knows
he's gamblin' with his life.

We are about three score and ten.
War trainin' we have not;
as they come on, six hundred strong,
the finest
Gage has got.
From down the way into the square
they pour with muskets raised
and in the early April dawn
I see my brothers razed.

We know we have so little chance
but still we have to try.
Too few, 'twas said, to
e'en resist;
too much at stake to fly!
So to the Common at Lexington
coming from near and far,
the Minute Men to light the spark
that flamed the coming war.

With foot to foot and knee to knee
the "Sons of Liberty" decree
to foster the fall of tyranny.
And forever after shall it be,
America, Land of God, and Free!
Forever after shall it be,
My Precious America, and Free!
Free!  Forever shall it be!

 

 

Let's Go To Lodge Tonight

My brother, let's go to Lodge tonight;
You haven't been for years.
Let's don our Lambskin Apron white
And sit among our peers.

I feel a kind of longing, see,
to climb those creaky stairs;
I know it'll be a thrill for me
to lay aside my cares.

We'll meet the Tyler at the door
and though he'll hesitate,
we'll hear him say just as before,
"Come in or you'll be late."

I'd like to get out on the floor--
Come on, let's get in line;
I want to face the East once more
And give the same old sign.

I want to hear the gavel rap
the Craftsmen to attention
and see the Master don his cap; 
a night without dissention.

So come!  Pass up that picture show,
or your wrestling bout or fight;
Switch off that TV set! Let's go!
Let's go to Lodge tonight.

(author unknown)


(Webmaster's note:  A poem with the same name but entirely different stanza
layout, rhyme scheme, and construction was sent to me by
V. Wor. Bro. Bruce Miller
Twin City Lodge No. 509 G.R.C.. That poem was written by R. Wor. Bro. Charles Fotheringham.  Although somewhat similar, they do not appear to be the same 
poem.  Brother Fotheringham's poem may be found in his book, "Ramblings in
Masonry"

 

The Mother-Lodge
by Brother Rudyard Kipling

There was Rundle, Station Master,
An' Beazeley of the Rail,
An' 'Ackman, Commissariat,
An' Donkin' o' the Jail;
An' Blake, Conductor-Sargent,
Our Master twice was 'e,
With 'im that kept the Europe-shop,
Old Framjee Eduljee.

Outside -- "Sergeant!  Sir!  Salute!  Salaam!"
Inside -- "Brother", an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on the Square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

We'd Bola Nath, Accountant,
An' Saul the Aden Jew,
An' Din Mohammed, draughtsman
Of the Survey Office too;
There was Babu Chuckerbutty,
An' Amir Singh the Sikh,
An' Castro from the fittin'-sheds,
The Roman Catholick!

We 'adn't good regalia,
An' our Lodge was old an' bare,
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks,
An' we kep' 'em to a hair;
An' lookin' on it backwards
It often strikes me thus,
There ain't such things as infidels,
Excep', per'aps, it's us.

For monthly, after Labour,
We'd all sit down and smoke
(We dursn't give no banquits,
Lest a Brother's caste were broke),
An' man on man got talkin'
Religion an' the rest,
An' every man comparin'
Of the God 'e knew the best.

So man on man got talkin',
An' not a Brother stirred
Till mornin' waked the parrots
An' that dam' brain-fever-bird;
We'd say 'twas 'ighly curious,
An' we'd all ride 'ome to bed,
With Mo'ammed, God, an' Shiva
Changin' pickets in our 'ead.

Full oft on Guv'ment service
This rovin' foot 'ath pressed,
An' bore fraternal greetin's
To the Lodges east an' west,
Accordin' as commanded
From Kohat to Singapore,
But I wish that I might see them
In my Mother-Lodge once more!

I wish that I might see them,
My Brethren black an' brown,
With the trichies smellin' pleasant
An' the hog-darn passin' down;
An' the old khansamah snorin'
On the bottle-khana floor,
Like a Master in good standing
With my Mother-Lodge once more!

Outside -- "Sergeant!  Sir!  Salute!  Salaam!"
Inside -- "Brother", an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on the Square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

 

 

 

The Palace

by Brother Rudyard Kipling

When I was a King and a Mason, a Master Proven and skilled,
I cleared me ground for a Palace, such as a King should build.
I decreed and dug down to my levels; presently, under the silt,
I came on the wreck of a Palace, such as a King had built.

There was no worth in the fashion; there was no wit in the plan;
Hither and thither, aimless, the ruined footings ran.
Masonry, brute, mishandled, but carven on every stone,
"After me cometh a Builder; tell him I, too, have known."

Swift to my use in my trenches, where my well-planned groundworks grew,
I tumbled his quoins and his ashlars, and cut and rest them anew.
Lime I milled of his marbles; burned it, slaked it, and spread;
Taking and leaving at pleasure the gifts of the humble dead.

Yet I despised not nor gloried, yet, as we wrenched them apart,
I read in the razed foundation the heart of that Builder's heart.
As he has risen and pleaded, so did I understand
The form of the dream he had followed in the face of the thing he had planned.

When I was a King and a Mason, in the open noon of my pride,
They sent me a Word from the Darkness; they whispered and called me aside.
They said, "The end is forbidden." They said, "Thy use is fulfilled.
Thy Palace shall stand as that other's, the spoil of a King who shall build."

I called my men from my trenches, my quarries, my wharves, and my sheers;
All I had wrought I abandoned to the faith of the faithless years.
Only I cut on the timber; only I carved on the stone:
"After me cometh a Builder; tell him I, too, have known."

 

 

Banquet Night

by Brother Rudyard Kipling

 

"Once in so often," King Solomon said,
 Watching his quarrymen drill the stone,
"We will curb our garlic and wine and bread
 And banquet together beneath my Throne,
And all Brethren shall come to that mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

"Send a swift shallop to Hiram of Tyre,
 Felling and floating our beautiful trees,
Say that the Brethren and I desire
 Talk with our Brethren who use the seas.
And we shall be happy to meet them at mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

"Carry this message to Hiram Abif-
 Excellent master of forge and mine :-
I and the Brethren would like it if
 He and the Brethren will come to dine
(Garments from Bozrah or morning-dress)
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

"God gave the Cedar their place-
 Also the Bramble, the Fig and the Thorn-
But that is no reason to black a man's face
 Because he is not what he hasn't been born.
And, as touching the Temple, I hold and profess
We are Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

So it was ordered and so it was done,
 And the hewers of wood and the Masons of Mark,
With foc'sle hands of Sidon run
 And Navy Lords from the ROYAL ARK,
Came and sat down and were merry at mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less.

The Quarries are hotter than Hiram's forge,
 No one is safe from the dog-whip's reach.
It's mostly snowing up Lebanon gorge,
 And it's always blowing off Joppa beach;

But once in so often, the messenger brings
Solomon's mandate : "Forget these things!
Brother to Beggars and Fellow to Kings,
Companion of Princes-forget these things!
Fellow-Craftsmen, forget these things!"

 

 

"My New-Cut Ashler"

   by Brother Rudyard Kipling


My New-Cut ashlar takes the light
Where crimson-blank the windows flare.
By my own work before the night,
Great Overseer, I make my prayer.

If there be good in that I wrought
Thy Hand compelled it, Master, Thine--
Where I have failed to meet Thy Thought
I know, through Thee, the blame was mine.

The depth and dream of my desire,
The bitter paths wherein I stray--
Thou knowest Who hast made the Fire,
Thou knowest Who hast made the Clay.

Who, lest all thought of Eden fade,
Bring'st Eden to the craftsman's brain--
Godlike to muse o'er his own Trade
And manlike stand with God again!

One stone the more swings into place
In that dread Temple of Thy worth.
It is enough that, through Thy Grace,
I saw nought common on Thy Earth.

Take not that vision from my ken--
Oh whatsoe'er may spoil or speed.
Help me to need no aid from men
That I may help such men as need!

 

 

The Thousandth Man

by Brother Rudyard Kipling

One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it's worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin' you.

'Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show
Will settle the finding for 'ee.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of 'em go
By your looks, or your acts, or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find him.
The rest of the world don't matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.

You can use his purse with no more talk
Than he uses yours for his spendings,
And laugh and meet in your daily walk
As though there had been no lendings.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of 'em call
For silver and gold in their dealings;
But the Thousandth Man he's worth 'em all,
Because you can show him your feelings.

His wrong's your wrong, and his right's your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men's sight --
With that for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can't bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot -- and after!

 

 

THE LODGE ROOM OVER SIMPKIN'S STORE
Lawrence Greenleaf

The plainest lodge room in the land was over Simpkin's store,
Where Friendship Lodge had met each month for fifty years or more.
When o'er the earth the moon, full orbed, had cast her brightest beam
The brethren came from miles around on horseback and in team,
And Ah! what hearty grasp of hand, what welcome met them there,
As mingling with the waiting groups they slowly mount the stair
Exchanging fragmentary news or prophecies of crop
Until they reach the Tiler's room and current topics drop
To turn their thoughts to nobler themes they cherish and adore
And which were heard on meeting night up over Simpkin's store.

To city eyes, a cheerless room, long usage had defaced
The tell-tale line of lath and beam on wall and ceiling traced.
The light from oil fed lamps was dim and yellow in its hue
The carpet once could pattern boast, though now `twas lost to view;
The altar and the pedestals that marked the stations three
The gate post pillars topped with balls, the rude carved letter G,
Were village joiner's clumsy work, with many things beside
Where beauty's lines were all effaced and ornament denied.
There could be left no lingering doubt, if doubt there was before,
The plainest lodge room in the land was over Simpkin's store.

While musing thus on outward form the meeting time drew near,
And we had glimpse of inner life through watchful eye and ear.
When Lodge convened at gavel's sound with officers in place,
We looked for strange, conglomerate work, but could no error trace.
The more we saw, the more we heard, the greater our amaze
To find those country brethren there so skilled in Mason's ways.
But greater marvels were to come before the night was through,
Where unity was not mere name, but fell on earth like dew,
Where tenets had the mind imbued, and truths rich fruit age bore,
In the plainest lodge room in the land, up over Simpkin's store.

To hear the record of their acts was music to the ear,
We sing of deeds unwritten which on angel's scroll appear,
A WIDOW'S CASE--Four helpless ones--Lodge funds were running low--
A dozen brethren sprang to feet and offers were not slow.
Food, raiment, things of needful sort, while one gave loads of wood,
Another, shoes for little ones, for each gave what he could.
Then spake the last: "I haven't things like these to give-- but then,--
Some ready money may help out" and he laid down a ten.'
Were brother cast on darkest square upon life's checkered floor,
A beacon light to reach the white--was over Simpkin's store.

Like scoffer who remained to pray, impressed by sight and sound,
The faded carpet `neath our feet was now like holy ground.
The walls that had such dingy look were turned celestial blue,
The ceiling changed to canopy where stars were shining through.
Bright tongues of flame from altar leaped, the G was vivid blaze,
All common things seemed glorified by heaven's reflected rays.
O! Wondrous transformation wrought through ministry of love--
Behold the LODGE ROOM BEAUTIFUL!--fair type of that above.
The vision fades--the lesson lives--while taught as ne'er before,
In the plainest lodge room in the land--up over Simpkin's store.

 

 

TELL HIM NOW!

If with pleasure you are viewing
any work a brother's doing;
if you like him or you love him,
tell him now!

Don't withhold your approbation
Till the parson's grave ovation
as he lies with snowy lilies o'er his brow.

Makes no matter how you shout it
he won't really care about it -
He won't know how many teardrops
you have shed.

More than fame and more than money
is the comment, kind and sunny,
and the unmistaken handshake of a friend.

If you think some praise is due him
now's the time to tell it to him -
for he cannot read his tombstone
once he's dead.

author unknown

Webmaster"s Note:  I have located a very similar poem by Vincent H. Miller entitled "Do it now" but it is not the same.

 

 

My Religion
author unknown

 

When talk turns to religion
I have notions of my own
Have my versions of the Bible
And things I think alone.

And I find them satisfying,
Find them comforting to me,
Though I wouldn't lose my temper
If you chose to disagree.

For religion as I see it
Is a pathway to the goal,
And its something to be settled
Between each man and his soul.

Now I'm not a Roman Catholic,
But I wouldn't go so far
As to fling away the friendship
Of the ones I know that are.

I've lived and neighbored with them
Come to love them through and through
I've respect and admiration
For the kindly things they do.

I've known Methodists, Baptists,
Scientists and Jews,
Whose friendship is a treasure
That I wouldn't want to lose.

So when the people talk religion,
I just settle back and see
Every helpful, loyal friend
Each Church has given me.


 

The Past Master
author unknown


"Who's the stranger, Mother, dear?
Look, he knows us - ain't that queer?"

"Hush, my son, don't talk so wild -
"He's your father, dearest child."

"He's my father? It's not so!
Father died six years ago."

"Dad didn't die, Oh love of mine,
He's been going through the line.
But he's been Master now so he
Has no place to go you see -
No place left for him to roam.
That is why he is coming home.
Kiss him, he won't bite you child.
All Past Masters are quite mild."

 

IF
by Brother Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on !";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


 

 

The Lamb Skin

It is not ornamental, the cost is not great,
There are other things far more useful, yet truly I state,
Though of all my possessions, there's none can compare,
With the white leather apron, which all Masons wear.
As a young lad I wondered just what it all meant,
When dad hustled around, and so much time was spent,
On shaving and dressing and looking just right,
Until mother would say: "It's the Masons tonight."

And some winter nights she said: "What makes you go,
Way up there tonight through the sleet and the snow?
You see the same things every month of the year."
Then dad would reply: "Yes, I know it my dear.
Forty years I have seen the same things, it is true,
And thought they are old, they always seem new,
For the hands that I clasp, and the friends that I greet,
Seem a little bit closer each time that we meet."

Years later I stood at that very same door,
With good men and true, who had entered before,
I knelt at the altar, and there I was taught,
That virtue and honor can never be bought.
That spotless white lambskin all Masons revere,
If worthily worn grows more precious each year,
That service to others brings blessings untold,
That man may be poor though surrounded by gold.

I learned that true brotherhood flourishes there,
That enmities fade 'neath the compass and square,
That wealth and position are all thrust aside,
As there on the level men meet and abide.
So honor the lambskin, may it always remain,
Forever unblemished, and free from all stain,
And when we are all called to the Great Father's love,
May we all take our place in that Lodge up above.

author unknown

 


 

The Lodge Where I Belong


Though my lodge may lack the splendor
Of a Temple or a Shrine,
Or possess the gaudy fixtures
that are classed as superfine,

Yet the fellowship it offers
is in a price beyond compare.
And I wouldn’t trade it ever
for life's treasures rich or bare!

The handclasp firm, the word of cheer,
Oh, such meanings they impart,
The mystic ties of brotherhood
that links us heart to heart!

You'd really have to travel far,
For the friendships quite so strong,
As those one always find right here
In the Lodge where I belong.

When all my earthly travels end,
And at last I'm borne to rest
Where mortal hands no longer toil
and I cease life's endless quest

Why there's nothing I'd like better,
should I join the heavenly throng,
than to meet with all the Brothers
of the Lodge Where I Belong.

Arthur R. Herrman

 

Masonic Sermon

( Inscription on a large medal struck in December, 1838 in response
to an interdict against the Masonic Order by the Roman Catholic Archbishop
of Mechlin.  Around the border is inscribed a Latin phrase meaning
"Masonry will Live, God wills it.  Grand Orient of Belgium, 5838")


Masonic conduct is to adore the Grand Architect of the Universe:
Love thy neighbor: Do no evil: Do good: Suffer man to speak:
The worship most acceptable to the Grand Architect of the Universe consists of good morals and the practice of all the virtues: 
Do good for the love of goodness itself alone:
Ever keep thy soul in a state so pure as to appear worthily before the presence of the Grand Architect, who is God:
Love the good, succor the weak, fly from the wicked, but hate no one:
Speak seriously with the great, and prudently with thy equals, sincerely with thy friends, pleasantly with the little ones, and tenderly with the poor:
Do not flatter thy Brother, that is treason:
If thy Brother flatter thee, beware that he doth not corrupt thee:
Listen always to the voice of conscience:
Be a father to the poor: Each sigh drawn from them by thy hard-heartedness will increase the number of maledictions which will fall upon thy head:
Respect the stranger on his journey and assist him, for his person is sacred to thee:
Avoid quarrels and forestall insults:
Ever keep the right on thy side:
Respect Woman, never abuse her weakness: Die rather than dishonor her:
If the Grand Architect hath given thee a son, be thankful, but tremble at the trust He hath confided to thee: Be to that child the image of Divinity: Until he is ten years old let him fear thee: Until he is twenty let him love thee and until death let him respect thee: Until he is ten years old, be his master, Until twenty his father and until death his friend: Aim to give him good principles rather than elegant manners, that he may have enlightened rectitude, and not a frivolous elegance: Make of him a honest man rather than a man of dress:
If thou blushes at thy condition it is pride: Consider that it is not the position which honors or degrades thee, but the manner in which thou dost fill it:
Read and profit, see and imitate, reflect and labor:
Do all for the benefit of thy Brethren, that is working for thyself:
Be content in all places, at all times, and with all things:
Rejoice in justice, despise iniquity, suffer without murmuring:
Judge not lightly the conduct of men, blame little, and praise still less:
It is for the Grand Architect of the Universe who searches the heart to value His work:

 

 

DESIDERATA

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, 
and remember what peace there may be in silence. 
As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. 
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. 
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; 
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. 
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
Do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labor and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1927

(Although this is not strictly a Masonic Poem,
it is included here because of it's obvious merits)

Thanks to Brother Matthew Lowe, SW
Riley Lodge No. 390, F. & A. M., Riley, Indiana
for informing me of the true origin of this marvelous work
.

 

THE OLD MASTER'S WAGES
 

I met a dear old man today,
Who wore a Masonic pin,
It was old and faded like the man,
It's edges were worn quite thin.

I approached the park bench where he sat,
To give the old brother his due,
I said, "I see you've traveled east,"
He said, "I have, have you."

I said, "I have, and in my day
Before the all seeing sun,
I played in the rubble, with Jubala
Jubalo and Jubalum."

He shouted, "don't laugh at the work my son,
It's good and sweet and true,
And if you've traveled as you said,
You should give these things their due."

The word, the sign the token,
The sweet Masonic prayer,
The vow that all have taken,
Who've climbed the inner stair.

The wages of a Mason,
are never paid in gold,
but the gain comes from contentment,
when you're weak and growing old.

You see, I've carried my obligations,
For almost fifty years,
It has helped me through the hardships
and the failures full of tears.

Now I'm losing my mind and body,
Death is near but I don't despair,
I've lived my life upon the level,
And I'm dying upon the square.

Sometimes the greatest lessons
Are those that are learned anew,
And the old man in the park today
has changed my point of view.

To all Masonic brothers,
The only secret is to care,
May you live your life upon the level,
May you part upon the square.

 by N. Neddermeyer

 

'Perhaps He's dead'
 

I was playing with the Shriner's band, In a small town, hot parade.
We had stopped to drink a thank you, for the tunes that we had played.

A hand was placed upon my back by a women with a crutch.
As I turned I saw a pretty face, and a smile came with that touch.

She told about a tear that came, when she saw the Shriner's band
and how she remembered one Shriner, who had helped her once to stand.

"I was in the Shriner's Hospital, I was frightened - I was low
When an old man in a silly red hat, showed that he loved me so."

"He visited me every Sunday, for possibly two years.
He shared my pain and laughter, my joys, my thoughts, my tears."

"He must be in his nineties now...  Well no, perhaps he's dead.
But he came to my wedding;  to watch me stand, when I was wed."

"I wanted to keep in contact with him for all my life
but I'm too busy being a mother, and too busy being a wife."

"I just wanted to stop and thank you, for the things that he had done
to make my life more meaningful, to give my life some fun."

I watched her hobble off as I stepped from the band.
I saw her husband and her kids, and the crutch in her right hand.

I felt guilty for taking credit for the Shriner who was strong but mild.
He knew no man stands straighter then when he stoops to help a child.

I thought, some forty years from now, when a Shriner takes a bow,
will he be thanked for something, that I am doing now?

Will they say that I was noble, that my silly hat was red?
Will they say "He's in his nineties now, well no, perhaps he's dead."

by  N. Neddermeyer 1986

 

The Real Freemasonry


Many a man has asked the question
What is Freemasonry?
Is it a club or some devilish cult,
Full of conspiracies?
Some would have many to believe,
From lack of facts or deceit,
Freemasonry is filled with corruption
Standing at Satan’s feet;

That we band together in our buildings
To perform unholy rites
With sacrifices of goodness knows what
To satisfy Satan’s delights;
And we ride the goat and fund the terrorists
And we’re into major crime,
Brain washing the world to join our sect
Whether old or in their prime.

One must ponder these synthetic slurs
To the origin of their source:
Perhaps it is fear of the unknown
Or a vindictive course;
Maybe it‘s a generational thing,
Could be a religious view-
Whatever the case, it is totally unfounded,
Flawed and viciously untrue.

If only they knew of what is inside
Also of what is taught,
Then they would see the truth of it all
And of the man that is wrought.
Taking a good man and making him better
Is the motto of Freemasonry,
To serve his God with humbleness
And fellow man in charity.

A belief in one God, is absolute!
From this we will not sway
'Tis the first step to our brotherhood
For those that seek the way
We accept all men - from all nations
Colour, disability and creed-
Honest, just and upright men
Are proper masons indeed.

Furthermore the emphasis
Is on priorities-
Family first, then comes work,
Finally Freemasonry.
Numerous lessons can be discovered
In charting the route of life:
If followed - stands a man in good stead
After his mortal life.

With principles so pure and so worthy,
May the slanderer’s hand be thwarted!
Let truth prevail above all else-
Freemasonry, be ever supported!


By Bro Geoff Fox  (April 2004)
Leven Lodge #30 Ulverstone, Tasmania
Lodge Scotch College #80 Launceston, Tasmania

 

 

 

WILFRID

Wilfrid is a garden gnome
Who lives near to Brian Parsons home
And never has been known to roam
From where he’s situated.

When Brian learns his lines by heart
To try them out he has to start
-So Wilfrid plays the other part
-And gets Initiated !

For all his patience he is praised
If you could know, you’d be amazed
How often he is “passed” and “raised”
-With words he’s saturated.

His faithfulness : Some prize must rate
Perhaps a rise to higher state
As “Past Provincial Candidate” ?
He would be most elated !

So, should you pass a garden fair
And see a wise gnome sitting there
Who does Provincial Apron wear –
Its Wilfrid – decorated !

From The Brighthelmstone Deacon Magazine June 1987
By W.Bro Ken Brown PPrGReg of Brighthelmstone Lodge 8042 UGLE

 

 

THE OLD MASTER

He was sitting in a wheelchair,
Looking down at the lawn.
I thought he might be asleep,
Then I saw the old man yawn.

I told him I’d come to visit.
A big smile lit up his face,
He said it’s not very often,
People visit this old place.

Pardon my manners young man,
As he offered me a chair.
Would you like a glass of tea?
It’s on the table over there.

I begged off the offer,
But I said I have a surprise.
I’ve come to take you to lodge.
You should’ve seen his eyes.

You know, I’m past master,
About three or four times,
He said as matter of fact,
I can work any chair in line.

I felt proud to push his chair,
As we headed for my car,
I had already checked him out,
And signed his pass card.

When I drove into the lot,
You should’ve heard the cheers,
I had a lump in my throat,
Down his cheek rolled a tear.

The lodge was filled with brothers
Who had come to celebrate.
Our guest of honor had arrived,
The Eastern Star had baked a cake.

We made a special presentation,
That brought laughter and tears,
For tonight our wise old master,
Had completed sixty-five years.

With countless years of service,
In this lodge in his hometown,
He did it all with a gentle heart,
And the strongest grip around.

His tired old voice cracked,
But his mind was sharp and clear,
As he took the microphone
Sitting there in his wheelchair.

We all sat down at tables,
With hot coffee in our cups,
He said I’d like to take you back,
To when I was just a pup.

You see, there’s been times,
This old lodge almost went dark,
We were down to just a few,
And some didn’t know their part.

But we kept on working hard,
And doing everything we could,
To get more men interested,
In the craft of brotherhood.

Oh there’s all kinds of things,
That’s changed over the years,
But younger men not coming in,
Is one of our biggest fears

You see, it was different then,
Than it is this day and time,
I remember how strict it was,
You didn’t dare cross the line.

About asking a man to join,
When you knew he was good,
God and family came first,
This, the lodge understood.

We had to wait until he asked,
About how to become one of us,
Then we could tell him the truth,
About fellowship, honor and trust.

We worked hard and did our best.
To be a good example among men,
We all know from reading the bible,
There’s not a man without sin.

So we’d take the best men,
And gently show ’em the light,
Just look at all the brothers,
That showed up here tonight.

If I could live my life all over,
And I could rewrite ever page
I’d hit a few bumps a little softer,
But there’s nothing I would change,

Each time I was asked to teach,
Oh it made me feel so good,
To lead you gently to the light,
Until I knew you understood.

I love you all my brothers,
I enjoyed being there for you,
And I’ll tell each one tonight,
You’ve been there for me too.

He talked for half an hour,
As we traveled back thru time
He had taken us on a journey,
And we hung on every line.

It was late when we got back,
But he was still wide awake,
As I pushed his wheelchair inside,
He gave the nurse a piece of cake.

Until the old master is called,
To the grand lodge on high,
His memories will be filled,
With the celebration tonight.

A few years have come and gone,
Since we honored him that night,
The old master even helped me,
Raise my grandson into light.

His kind and gentle manner,
Stands tall among the best,
Today he made the final journey,
We laid the old master to rest.

WBr. Ben Steen, Jr.
Past Master, Jones Coty Lodge #537
Jones, Oklahoma

 

Tubal Cain

Old Tubal Cain was a man of might
In the days when the earth was young;
By the fierce red light of his furnace bright,
The strokes of his hammer rung;
And he lifted high his brawny hand
On the iron glowing clear,
Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers,
As he fashioned the sword and the spear.
And he sang: "Hurrah for my handiwork!
Hurrah for the Spear and Sword!
Hurrah for the hand that shall wield them well,
For he shall be king and lord!"

To Tubal Cain came many a one,
As he wrought by his roaring fire,
And each one prayed for a strong steel blade
As the crown of his desire;
And he made them weapons sharp and strong,
Till they shouted loud for glee,
And gave him gifts of pearl and gold,
And spoils of the forest free.
And they sang: "Hurrah for Tubal Cain,
Who hath given us strength anew!
Hurrah for the smith, hurrah for the fire,
and hurrah for the metal true!"

But a sudden change came o'er his heart,
Ere the setting of the sun,
And Tubal Cain was filled with pain
For the evil he had done;
He saw that men, with rage and hate,
Made war upon their kind;
That the land was red with the blood they shed
In their lust for carnage blind.
And he said: "Alas! That ever I made,
Or that skill of mine should plan,
The spear and the sword for men whose joy
Is to slay their fellow-man!"

And for many a day old Tubal Cain
Sat brooding o'er his woe;
And his hand forbore to smite the ore,
And his furnace smoldered low.
But he rose at last with a cheerful face,
And a bright courageous eye,
And bared his strong right arm for work,
While the quick flames mounted high.
And he sang: "Hurrah for my handiwork!"
And the red sparks lit the air;
Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made;"
As he fashioned the First Ploughshare!

And men, taught wisdom from the Past,
In friendship joined their hands,
Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,
And ploughed the willing lands,
And sang: "Hurrah for Tubal Cain!
Our staunch good friend is he;
And for the ploughshare and the plough
To him our praise shall be.
But while Oppression lifts its head,
Or a tyrant would be lord,
Though we may thank him for the Plough,
We'll not forget the Sword!"

by Charles Mackay

From the South Dakota Lodge of Masonic Research Bulletin
March 2007, Vol. 53, No. 4

 

 

The White Lamb Skin Apron

by Franklin W. Lee

Here's a toast to the Lambskin, more ancient by far
Than the fleece of pure gold or the eagles of war;
'Tis an emblem of innocence, nobler to wear
Than the Garter of England or order as rare.

Let the king wear the purple and point to his crown
Which may fall from his brow when his thrown tumbles down;
But the badge of a Mason has much more to give
Than a kingdom so frail that it cannot long live.

Let the field-marshal boast of the men he can guide.
Of the infantry columns and the heroes that ride;
But the White Leather Apron his standard outranks,
Since it waves from the East to the Death River banks.

'Tis the shield of the orphan, the hostage of love;
'Tis the charter of Faith in the Grand Lodge above;
While the high and the low, in its whiteness arrayed,
Of one blood and one kin by its magic are made.

Kingdoms fall to earth; cities crumble to dust;
Men are born to die; swords are made but rust;
But the White Leather Apron, through ages passed on.
.
Has survived with the Lodge of Holy St. John.

So a toast to the Lambskin, which levels, uplifts-
To the White Leather Apron, most priceless of gifts,
'Tis the badge of a Mason, more ancient by far
Than the fleece of pure gold or the eagles of war.

First appeared in the Trestleboard of Friendship Masonic Center,
re-printed in the Oregon Masonic
extracted from the Southern California Research Lodge, F&AM
FRATERNAL REVIEW, 15 April 2008

 

SPRING CLEANING

by Neil Neddermeyer
 

She's cleaning out his closet; it's not the first time that she tried,
But this time she's going to do it; it's been six months since he died.
She can smell her husband's after shave, he'd always used Old Spice;
She remembers how he loved her so, and made their life so nice.
           
 "Is this what life is all about?  If it is, it feels like hell
 To search my husband's closet and decide if he'd done well.
 If he hadn't been a Mason we'd have had a few more bucks;

 He would not have bought this Shrine fez; he would not have owned this tux.


"I'll give his ties to our son-in-law, the suits to the corner Goodwill.
 It's hard for me to remember he's gone; it seems like he's with me still.
 If he hadn't been a Mason would our time have been less grand?
 Would I still have given my life to him when he asked me for my hand?

"Here's his Masonic pocket watch; every hour it would chime
 When he was with his brothers, he was always home on time.
 And here's his Scottish Rite ring, and here's his York Rite pin;
 Oh how I miss his laughter, oh how I miss his grin.

"And to me a list of promises; an odd thing for him to save;
 I think I'll ask about it, the next time I visit his grave.
 He had always kept his word to me; he would never cheat or lie;
 I thought he'd live forever, I thought he'd never die.

 "And here's his coded ritual with its secrets locked inside;
 And here's his clean white apron! We couldn't find it when he died.
 And here's his dad's Masonic pin; I'll keep it just in case,
 So when our son is older, he might take his father's place.

 I remember at the funeral his brothers held me snug -
 Where are all those Masons now I could use just one more hug?
 Did the fact he was a Mason make him a better man?
 Did Masonic obligations make him follow some life's plan?"


 She was doing her spring cleaning, just like she always had,
 But this year is for remembering, this year is more than sad.
 Did it really make him better? It is hard to understand,
 But he had become a Mason; and he was a better man.
 You just know she'll keep a few things; his apron, that list, and his ring;
 And you know that she'll remember him, while cleaning every spring.

 

 

 

 

MY CREED

 "To live as gently as I can,
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill;
To cling to faith and honor still;
To do my best and let stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory!

"To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I'm alone
As when my every deed is known,
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham,
Exactly what men think I am."

Author Unknown

 

A MASONIC SMILE
 

SMILING is infectious!
You can catch it like the flu.
When someone SMILED at me today,
I started SMILING too.

As I passed around the Altar
and a Brother saw my grin,
when he SMILED I realized
that I'd passed it on to him.

I thought about that little smile,
realizing its true worth:
A simple SMILE just like mine
could travel 'round the earth.

Author Unknown

FRIENDSHIP, LOVE AND TRUTH.

WHEN FRIENDSHIP LOVE AND TRUTH ABOUND
AMONG A BAND OF BROTHERS,
THE CUP OF JOY GOES GAILY ROUND,
EACH SHARES THE BLISS OF OTHERS
SWEET ROSES GRACE THE THORNY WAY
ALONG THIS VALE OF SORROW;
THE FLOWERS THAT SHED THEIR LEAVES TODAY
SHALL BLOOM AGAIN TOMORROW!
HOW GRAND IN AGE HOW FAIR IN YOUTH
ARE HOLY FRIENDSHIP LOVE & TRUTH.

Author Unknown

LET MASONRY FROM POLE TO POLE
HER SACRED LAWS EXPAND,
FAR AS THE MIGHTY WATERS ROLL,
TO WASH REMOTEST LAND:
THAT VIRTUE HAS NOT LEFT MANKIND
HER SOCIAL MAXIMS PROVE,
FOR STAMP'D UPON THE MASONS MIND
ARE UNITY AND LOVE.

Author Unknown

Isn't it strange that princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, a book of rules;
And each must make, ere life has flown,
a standing block or a stepping stone.

R. L. Sharpe


 

THE FINAL ACT

Our lives are like a story book
as each chapter unfolds.
But 'tis a fact, we cannot look
at what the last page holds.

When all our trials we have stood
and that final day arrives,
we can only hope we've done some good
and pleasant memories of us survived.

We set the direction of our lives,
but God has final control.
He leads us through our times of strife.
He is the guardian of our soul.

Though we remember days gone by
even with our bodies bent with age,
the final act the day we die
is the reading of that final page.

by Ray Dotson, PM, Webmaster

(Dedicated to my very good friend and Brother, E.D. Robinson)

To the late Brother Basilio Castro

Of those who helped me up the stairs
by three and five and seven,
some still are here to guide my steps
while some now rest in Heaven.

His hands were gnarled, his face was drawn.
His years were etched and numbered.
His silvered hair was thin and wisped,
but his mind quite unencumbered.

The ritual - those words we said;
the floor work, he had mastered.
But more than this, he knew the secret
of why our Craft has lasted.

The night he offered me his hand
and pulled me up on points of five;
whispered cryptic words in my ear
explaining the mystery of Hiram’s reprieve.

“Masonry is just a tool,” he said.
“A working tool like any other.
Like a setting maul, it breaks away
what lies hidden from view, my brother.”

by Ray Dotson, PM, Webmaster

 

You may nominate Masonic Poems for consideration.   
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Any Masonic organization may use the fruits of my research in
their own Lodge or publication.  I would however, request that
credit be given for my research efforts.

Last Updated on Saturday March 07, 2015

To learn - To subdue my passions - To improve myself in Masonry.

 

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