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The Masonic Life 
(29 Pages, 7,610 words) 
To A Past Master 
A Real Man 
My Initiation 
The Absent One 
The Three Great Li...
The Mason's Pledge 
Mind of God 
No Time For God 
Abou Ben Adhem 
A Mason's Greeting 
What Makes A Mason? 
Challenges for ...
Out in the open light he fought 
And didn't care what others thought 
Nor what they said about his fight 
If he believed t...
Than the organs solemn sound. 
My faltering footstep here and there 
Were halted on my way, 
As several questions were put...
Thy thought, thy love had reached and brought 
To me warm consolation to a hungry heart. 
The Three Great Lights 
author u...
Can give us an emblem so cherished or great; 
'Tis the Badge of a Mason, more noble to wear 
Than the gold of the mine, or...
To shield a brother's fame 
From envy and distraction, 
And prove that truth's our aim 
In spirit, life and action,- 
To t...
Just a minute at a time. 
Yesterday is gone; to-morrow 
Never comes within our grasp; 
Just this minute's joy or sorrow, 
...
To climb up those old stairs; 
I know we'd get a thrill of joy 
and lay aside the cares. 
I'd like to get me out on the fl...
What Of Your Masonry? 
by Bro. George H. Free 
What of your Masonry? Is it put by, 
Doffed with your apron, forgotten, to ...
Beyond life's mystic veil. 
Familiar Ring 
by Bro. George Crewe 
I met a man the other day, 
A fellow-traveler on life's w...
While there are those who never go. 
Some always pay their dues ahead, 
Some get behind for months, instead. 
Some do thei...
Type it is of the higher sphere, 
Where the deeds of the body ended here, 
Shall one by one the by-way be 
To Pass the gat...
They made me an Entered Apprentice and bade me to do my part. 
They made me an Entered Apprentice- I was not so proud a ma...
Its gleam 
In glory fills the darkened world 
With good. 
At last, with long and steadfast gaze 
On Light, 
You'll lose th...
Our world is the world within, 
Our life is the thought we take, 
And never an outer sin 
Can mar it or break. 
Brood not ...
It helps to make their lives secure. 
It feeds with Truth, the hungry soul; 
It lights the darkness to the goal, 
Where Fa...
Nor yet the miser, hard and cold, 
Who shuts his heart to all but gold. 
Who is a Mason? Not the hound 
Who boldly treads ...
In full compassion shared each brother's cross; 
Our hearts were one in that most holy place, 
Our spirits fused in God's ...
And thy going be 't in growing, 
And thy growing be 't in love. 
THE MASTER DEGREE 
The Travel 
Life's brief moments, swif...
Whatever place the place may be, 
A Mason may not always wear 
A little of his Masonry. 
The Model Mason 
By Brother Rober...
Let me think more of my neighbor, 
And a little less of me. 
When Are You A Mason? 
By Wilbur D. Nesbit 
When are you a Ma...
This is a father's confession. I do not know the author, but it might have been most any 
father. It does not rhyme, it ha...
strengthen me in my new resolve. Tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, 
and suffer and laugh when you lau...
Spirit of Bliss, 
Coming to cheer us, 
Through the abyss, 
Token of faithfulness -- 
Be thou our guide; 
Emblem of Hopeful...
Urge the brother's bounden duty, 
Show him the approaching sin, 
Point to him the deadly snare, 
Save him with a brother's...
But what of your soul when you're under the sod? 
For time will not linger when helpless you lie 
Staring death in the fac...
by George H. Free 
What makes you a Mason, O brother of mine? 
It isn't the due-guard, nor is it the sign, 
It isn't the j...
Freemasonry 081 the masonic life  poems-
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Freemasonry 081 the masonic life poems-

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Freemasonry 081 the masonic life poems-

  1. 1. The Masonic Life (29 Pages, 7,610 words) To A Past Master A Real Man My Initiation The Absent One The Three Great Lights The White Leather Apron To Stretch the Liberal Hand Words of a Great Hymn Just This Minute Knife and Fork Degree Best Wishes Let's Go To Lodge Tonight The Beacon Light What of Your Masonry? Initiation Familiar Ring Brother Let George Do It He Who Serves On Presenting the Lambskin Apron The Entered Apprentice Toil Light, More Light Grant thy Light The Kingdom of Man How True The Royal Art Fraternity Who is a Mason? A to Z The Apron Apprentice Degree Fellowcraft Degree Master Degree Always A Mason The Model Mason Charity When Are You A Mason? Listen, Son Sonnet The Goddess of Masonry
  2. 2. The Mason's Pledge Mind of God No Time For God Abou Ben Adhem A Mason's Greeting What Makes A Mason? Challenges for the True Mason =========== "To a Past Master" by Bro. Walter K. Belt Who's the stranger, Mother dear? Look, he knows us- ain't it 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 eight years ago. Dad didn't die, O child 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's why he's coming home. A Real Man by Bro. Edgar Guest Men are of two kinds, and he Was of the kind I'd like to be. Some preach their virtues, and a few Express their lives by what they do. That sort was he. No flowery phrase Or glibly spoken words of praise Won friends for him. He wasn't cheap Or shallow, but his course ran deep, And it was pure. You know the kind. Not many in a life you find Whose deeds outrun their words so far That more than what they seem they are. There are two kinds of lies as well: The kind you live, the ones you tell. Back through his years from age to youth He never acted one untruth.
  3. 3. Out in the open light he fought And didn't care what others thought Nor what they said about his fight If he believed that he was right. The only deeds he ever hid Were acts of kindness that he did. What speech he had was plain and blunt. His was an unattractive front. Yet children loved him; babe and boy Played with the strength he could employ, Without one fear, and they are fleet To sense injustice and deceit. No back door gossip linked his name With any shady tale of shame. He did not have to compromise With evil-doers, shrewd and wise, And let them ply their vicious trade Because of some past escapade. Men are of two kinds, and he Was of the kind I'd like to be. No door at which he ever knocked Against his manly form was locked. If ever man on earth was free And independent, it was he. No broken pledge lost him respect, He met all men with head erect, And when he passed, I think there went A soul to yonder firmament So white, so splendid and so fine It came almost to God's design. My Initiation I heard three knocks at the Temple door And then it was opened wide. I felt the grip of a Masons hand As I slowly passed inside. I was lowered on bended knees, As a prayer was said for me, And then I was helped to pass around For the Brethren all to see. All to me was like black of night, As my leader took me round, And my racing heart I heard more clear
  4. 4. Than the organs solemn sound. My faltering footstep here and there Were halted on my way, As several questions were put to me As I struggled not to sway. Then moving on I took three steps And again I had to kneel Whilst my left hand pressed a compass point For my naked breast to feel. With my right resting on The Law I took my obligation And I swore Id be a Mason true At my initiation. Some word were said which I could not hear Though wishing that I could see, Then after a knock that echoed wide My sight was restored to me. I shall not tell more of what I saw Or much of what was spoken But I saw the sign and heard the word And felt the Masons token. I'll tell you this that I heard a charge (Which later I learned by heart) As it told me all that a man should do As a Mason, from the start. It matters not if You Pass the Chair Or reach the highest station, The best event in a Masons life Is his initiation. The Absent One by Bro. Ernest R. Moore Tonight I sat before an altar high Brighter than any work of human hands. From faintly glinting censers, swinging low, Thin spiral threads of smoke ascending slow Faded into the vaulted darkness overhead. From some unseen choir, far away, there came Thin voices bearing melodies not of earth. From these, the sanctuary, the lights, the music faint, There came a peace as though some fair hand With tender touch had smoothed my aching brow, And wiped away the cumbering cares of day. The miracle was thine; through many miles
  5. 5. Thy thought, thy love had reached and brought To me warm consolation to a hungry heart. The Three Great Lights author unknown The Three Great Lights will guide our steps Through life's uncertain way, And bring us safe at length to see The bright, eternal day. The Holy Book our fathers read With undimmed faith, today Make clear our sight that we may know Its precepts to obey. With square of virtue, try our acts And make them meet the test; There is no other cause that leads To Islands of the Blest. Between the lines that represent The longest, shortest day, Keep circumscribed by compasses That we go not astray. The Three Great Lights will guide our steps Through life's uncertain way, And bring us safe at length to see The bright eternal day. The White Leather Apron by Bro. D. W. Clements The white leather apron is more ancient by far Then the eagles of Rome, a symbol of war, Or the fleece of pure gold, by emperors given, A rich decoration for which many have striven. The Garter of England, an Order most rare, Although highly prized, can not with it compare; It is an emblem of innocence, symbolised in white, And purity ever brings the greatest delight; With pure thoughts and actions, how happy the life, How care-free the conscience, unclouded by strife! No Potentate ever can upon us bestow An honor so great as this apron doth show; No king on his throne in his highest estate
  6. 6. Can give us an emblem so cherished or great; 'Tis the Badge of a Mason, more noble to wear Than the gold of the mine, or the diamond most rare. So here's to the lambskin, the apron of white, That lifts up all equals and all doth unite, In the Order so ancient that man can not say When its teachings began or name its birthday. Since its birth, nations young have gone to their tomb, And cities once great turned to ashes and gloom; Earth's greatest achievements have long passed away, And peoples have risen and gone to decay. Outliving all these, never changing with time, Are the principles taught in our Order sublime. And now, my good brother, this apron's for you, May you worthily wear it and ever be true To the vows you have made, to the lessons most grand; For these, home and country, we ever will stand. To Stretch The Liberal Hand author unknown To stretch the liberal hand, And pour the stream of gladness O'er misery's withered strand- To cheer the heart of sadness,- To dry the orphan's tear, And soothe the heart nigh broken,- To breathe in sorrow's ear Kind words in kindness spoken,- This is the Mason's part, The Mason's bounden duty This rears the Mason's heart In wisdom, strength and beauty. To practice virtue's laws With fervency and freedom, And in her noble cause Advance where'er she lead 'em,- To curb the headlong course Of passion's fiery pinion, And bend its stubborn force To reason's mild dominion,- This is the Mason's part, The Mason's bounden duty, This rears the Mason's heart In wisdom, strength and beauty.
  7. 7. To shield a brother's fame From envy and distraction, And prove that truth's our aim In spirit, life and action,- To trust in God, through all The danger and temptation, Which to his lot may fall, In trial and probation,- This is the Mason's part, The Mason's bounden duty, This rears the Mason's heart In wisdom, strength and beauty. Words Of A Great Hymn by Washington Gladden O Master, let me walk with Thee In lowly paths of service free; Tell me thy secret; help me bear The strain of toil, the fret of care. Help me the slow of heart to move By some clear, winning word of love; Teach me my wayward feet to stay And guide them in a homeward way. Teach me Thy patience; still with Thee In closer, dearer company. In work that keeps faith sweet and strong, In trust that triumphs over wrong. In hope that sends a shining ray Far down the future's broadening way; In peace that only Thou canst give, With Thee, O Master, let me live. Just This Minute by Bro. Edwin G. Ketcham If we're thoughtful, just this minute, In whatever we say and do, If we put a purpose in it That is honest through and through, We shall gladden life and give it Grace to make it all sublime; For, though life is long, we live it
  8. 8. Just a minute at a time. Yesterday is gone; to-morrow Never comes within our grasp; Just this minute's joy or sorrow, That is all our hands may clasp. Just this minute, let us take it As a pearl at precious price, And with high endeavor make it Fit to shine in paradise. Knife And Fork Degree author unknown I do not attend the meetings for I've not the time to spare. But every time they have a feast You'll surely find me there. I cannot help with the degrees for I do no know the work. But I can applaud the speaker and handle the knife and fork. I am so rusty in the ritual that It seems like Greek to me. But practice makes me perfect in the knife and fork degree. Best Wishes by Cyril E. Brubaker May the cause of Brotherhood 'Round the World be understood; And peace espoused in every land, By one and all on every hand. May the joys of friendships be renewed, Greed, and lust, and avarice subdued. May the good which can be done, Touch the lives of everyone. May the gifts which we possess, Be deployed for happiness. Let's Go To Lodge Tonight author unknown Say, Son, let's go to Lodge tonight; We haven't been for years. Let's don our little aprons white And sit among the peers. I feel a kind of longing, Boy,
  9. 9. To climb up those old stairs; I know we'd get a thrill of joy and lay aside the cares. I'd like to get me out on the floor- Come on, let's get in line; I'd like to face the East once more And give the same old sign. I want to hear the gavels ring, To hear the organ play; I want to hear the Craftsmen sing I think the Tyler'd let us in, That old familiar lay. Although he'd hesitate, And then we'd see that same old grin. Come on, or we'll be late. Pass up your bridge or picture show, Your wrestling bout or fight; Switch off that darn old TV set- Let's go to Lodge tonight. The Beacon Light by Bro. Rob Morris A city set upon a hill Cannot be hid; Exposed to every eye, it will Over surrounding plain and vale, An influence shed, And spread the light of peace afar, Or blight the land with horrid war. Each Mason's Lodge is planted so For high display; Each is a BEACON LIGHT, to show Life's weary wanderers as they go, The better way; To show by ties of earthly love, How perfect is the Lodge above! Be this your willing task, dear friends, While laboring here; Borrow from Him who kindly lends The heavenly ladder that ascends The higher sphere; And let the world your progress see, Upward by FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY.
  10. 10. What Of Your Masonry? by Bro. George H. Free 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 of languish, and soothes the distressed. Masonry's place is in 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 day by day. Worthy is study and labor to gain Ritual skill, and perfection attain, Yet this is only the means to an end, Useful alone for the aid it can lend. What of the lessons by Masonry taught? Have you their practical principles caught? Live by them, grow by them, build by them, too, Let them your thought and your actions imbue. Initiation by Bro. D. C. Tidwell Long years ago, I climbed a stair And rapped at an ancient door. I passed within a temple fair And trod the checkered floor. I passed between the pillars two; I climbed the winding stair; The letter "G" then met my view; I earned my wages there. I knelt beside the altar fair I counted not the cost. I searched afar with earnest care, But still the Word was lost. Though some may think my search absurd, When time shall ebb and fail, I hope to learn the final Word
  11. 11. Beyond life's mystic veil. Familiar Ring by Bro. George Crewe I met a man the other day, A fellow-traveler on life's way; Our paths had never crossed before, And maybe we shall meet no more At least not this side of heaven's gates Where the great Architect awaits- He bore no mark of wealth or fame, Perhaps he'd won no great acclaim, Upon his hand he wore a ring- 'Twas not a costly jeweled thing Masonic But there was an emblem plainly shown Told me I was not alone, For as we stood together there I knew that he was on the square. Brother by Bro. Walter K. Belt Be ready with a friendly greeting, Reserve night when we have meetings, Obey the Master's pleas and wishes, Take time to help out with the dishes, Help widows, orphans, with quickness, Ease, too, the lot of those with sickness. Remember to love one another- -and you'll deserve the name of Brother. Let George Do It author unknown Some members keep their Lodges strong, While others join and just belong; Some dig right in, some serve with pride, Some go along, just for the ride. Some volunteer to do their share, While some lay back and just don't care; On meeting nights some always show
  12. 12. While there are those who never go. Some always pay their dues ahead, Some get behind for months, instead. Some do their best, some build, some make, Some never give, but always take, Some drag, some pull, some don't, some do. CONSIDER, which of these are you? He Who Serves by Bro. Edgar A. Guest He has not served who gathers gold, Nor has he served, whose life is told In selfish battles he has won, Or deeds of skill that he has done; But he has served who now and then Has helped along his fellow men. The world needs many men today; Red-blooded men along life's way, With cheerful smiles and helping hands, And with the faith that understands The beauty of the simple deed Which serves another's hour of need. Strong men to stand beside the weak, Kind men to hear what others speak; True men to keep our country's laws And guard its honor and its cause; Men who will bravely play life's game Nor ask rewards of gold and fame. Teach me to do the best I can To help and cheer our fellow man; Teach me to lose my selfish need And glory in the larger deed Which smoothes the road, and lights the day For all who chance to come my way. On Presenting The Lambskin Apron by Bro. Fay Hempstead Light and white are its leathern folds; And a priceless lesson its texture holds. Symbol it is, as the years increase, Of the paths that lead through the fields of Peace.
  13. 13. Type it is of the higher sphere, Where the deeds of the body ended here, Shall one by one the by-way be To Pass the gates of eternity. Emblem it is of a life intense, Held aloof from the world of sense; Of the upright walk and the lofty mind, Far from the dross of Earth inclined. Sign it is that he who wears Its sweep unsullied, about him bears That which should be to mind and heart, A set reminder of his art. So may it ever bring to thee The high resolves of Purity. Its spotless field of shining white, Serve to guide thy steps aright; Thy daily life, in scope and plans, Be that of the strong and upright man And signet shall the honor be Unto those who wear it worthily. Receive it thus to symbolize Its drift, in the life that before thee lies. Badge as it is of a great degree, Be it chart and compass unto thee. The Entered Apprentice by Bro. Wilbur D. Nesbit They made me an Entered Apprentice; they gave me my first degree; They gave me a base for an honest pride, and took some conceit from me. I thought I should have attendants whose station and rank were high, That they who should give me instructions would cater to such as ISo they made me an Entered Apprentice; and good were the words they said; Their speech was the speech of wisdom, the lore of the heart and head. And one was an humble person, a man of the everyday, Whom oft I had passed by proudly on meeting him in my way. He spoke, and my bigness dwindled, and out of the circling sky There seemed to come down a message for me to be measured by. I got me a newer learning, an inkling of some great plan- They made me an Entered Apprentice in the building of a man. And one was a kindly scholar whom many a day I'd seen, With speech that was firm, yet gentle, and a countenance all serene; He taught me a wealth of learning that never yet was in schools And showed me the grief they garner that walk in the way of fools. The simple, eternal precepts they put in my mind and heart-
  14. 14. They made me an Entered Apprentice and bade me to do my part. They made me an Entered Apprentice- I was not so proud a man, A pride that was deeper, newer, that all meaner things must ban Took place of the old vainglory, and all for my soul's own good, As dimly the patient teachings began to be understood. They made me an Entered Apprentice; they gave me my first degree; They gave me the base for a decent pride, and took some conceit from me. Toil by Bro. Walter H. Bonn The Bee Toils The bee does toil, builds pyramids of honeyed comb, Stores gathered sweets in cupboards of its well-stocked home, Mindful of those dependent of its daily toil, And of the day, when flowers droop and shrouds entomb the soil. Man Toils Man too does toil, for honest toil brings happiness, And cheers the heart of him whom God would bless. Tuned to creation's teeming law divine, Man labors well,- serene, contented and benign. God Toils E'en God does toil, rears mountains full of hidden gold, And frames those heights with flowered plains of marigold, He tunes the song of angel, man, and chickadee, And guides the course of star and rock and growing tree. Light, More Light by Bro. Ulysses F. Axtell Your first great need, O Brother mine, Is Light, To know the glow in which you live, And love: The ills of life are only dreams Of night- Face but the glorious light which shines Above. Your second need is still more Light- Nor dream On lofty peaks alone to see Its flood: For down the vale of Brotherhood
  15. 15. Its gleam In glory fills the darkened world With good. At last, with long and steadfast gaze On Light, You'll lose the phantom dreams of night- Nor e'er Recall these unrealities Of night, For Light of God's eternal day Is fair. Grant Thy Light by Bro. Franklin Cable O God of ages look tonight Upon Thy Craftsman; let Thy light Burn on the altars of his heart, And fit him for the Mason's Art. The light which pales the brightest star, And leaps the void of spaces far To crown with beauty morning sky And evening hills to glorify- Touch with that light his heart, and grant, Oh, God, grace to this supplicant, That in Thy temple he may be An ornament of Masonry. The Kingdom Of Man by John Kendrick Bangs What of the outer drear, As long as there is inner light; As long as the sun of cheer Shines ardently bright? As long as the soul's a-wing, As long as the heart is true, What power hath trouble to bring A sorrow to you? No bar can encage the soul, Nor capture the spirit free, As long as old earth shall roll, Or hours shall be.
  16. 16. Our world is the world within, Our life is the thought we take, And never an outer sin Can mar it or break. Brood not on the rich man's land, Sigh not for miser's gold, Holding in reach of your hand The treasure untold. That lies in the Mines of Heart, That rests in the soul alone- Bid worry and care depart, Come into your own! How True by Bro. Anse Cates Oh, yes, we are all Craftsmen and very proud to be; We wear our pins and rings for everyone to see. But let us pose the question, even though the thought may sting- Would you know me for a Mason, if you did not see the ring? True we show Tenets of our ancient hallowed Creed. Not just on coat and finger, but by words and deeds. There's one thing to remember, if I've learned my lesson well My deeds do more convincing than my finger or lapel. The Royal Art by Bro. Silas H. Shepherd Thou, Royal Art, in splendor clothed, By verse and learned orator extolled; What is thy power over men so frail? Where is they wisdom ne'er assailed? Is it in mystic ties and form, Or legends to which all conform, That men find satisfaction rare, And in its ceremonies share? It never could the wise attract By mystic rite or magic act; Did not some power in secret lie Hidden from all but worthy eye. Its secret most profound and rare All worthy men may likewise share. It welcomes men with motives pure;
  17. 17. It helps to make their lives secure. It feeds with Truth, the hungry soul; It lights the darkness to the goal, Where Father waits His soul to meet, Who as a brother fellows greet. It clears the air of doubt and fear; It gives to life delight and cheer; It makes the Brotherhood of Man A consummation of His plan. "Fraternity," by Bro. David E. Guyton We build us temples tall and grand, With gifts we keep our altars high, Unheeding how, on every hand, The hungry and the naked cry. We sound our creeds in trumpet tone, With zeal we encompass land and sea, Unmindful of the sob and moan Of souls that yearn for sympathy. We hurl to hell, we bear above, With equal ease we loose or bind, Forgetful quite that God is Love, And Love is large and broad and kind. O Thou Eternal Largeness, teach Our petty, shriveled soul to swell, Till Thou, within their ampler reach, In every human heart may dwell; Till Love alone becomes the creed Of every nation, tribe and clan, The Fatherhood of God, indeed, The blessed Brotherhood of man. Who Is a Mason? by Bro. R. W. Hill Who is a Mason? Not the clod Whose thoughts, ne'er rise above the sod; Whose ambition is to know The joys that from the senses grow. Who is a Mason? Not the slave To passions that will dig his grave;
  18. 18. Nor yet the miser, hard and cold, Who shuts his heart to all but gold. Who is a Mason? Not the hound Who boldly treads on holy ground; At woman's honor dares to sneer; At Truth Divine to mock and jeer. A Mason worthy of the name Can never stoop to guilt or shame; His honor is his dearest care- Fidelity his jewel rare. "A to Z," by Bro. Walter K. Belt We should know every letter In our Craft's alphabet; And some of them are better Than others are, and yet Each one as an initial Some phase of brotherhood May show as beneficial, And all of them are good, If we would praise be earning, We'll let our brothers see We have sufficient learning To go from A to Z. Then let us all work harder, Show how we really feel. Yes, let us start with Ardor, And let us end with Zeal. "The Apron," by Bro. Milford Shields I took an apron from the pile of white And tied it on to sit in Lodge one night. As I sat there I felt a warming glow About the apron and I looked and lo- The other brethren who had worn it there Were gathered 'round in mystic meeting rare. We shared with each the blessings of the years, The dreams, successes, hopes and joyous tears; Then we grew humble in each other's loss,
  19. 19. In full compassion shared each brother's cross; Our hearts were one in that most holy place, Our spirits fused in God's Masonic grace. We looked upon the apron's perfect white, We were all wearing it that mystic night. We saw that it was large enough to fit The whole wide world, for God had fashioned it. APPRENTICE DEGREE The Travel Through midnight dark I feebly grope my way Oppressed with fear; I dread to go, and yet I dare not stay With danger near; Eternal Father! guide my feet aright, And lead me, step by step, up to the Light. I do not know the secret path I tread Thro' scenes unknown, I humbly wander whither I am led- Thy power I own; Eternal Father! guide me through this night, And lead me, step by step, up to the Light. The World, its pride and passions, wealth and power, All, all are gone; Blind, poor, and weak I trust, in this dread hour, On Thee alone; Eternal Father! guide me in Thy Might, And lead me, step by step, up to the Light. FELLOWCRAFT DEGREE The Travel Onward moves the whole Creation, Working out the eternal plan; Sun and planet, stream and ocean, Flower and forest, beast and man, Never resting, ever going Forward on their destined way; Spring to Summer - glory growing, Morn merging into Day. Forward, Brother, then be going, To the might of manhood move;
  20. 20. And thy going be 't in growing, And thy growing be 't in love. THE MASTER DEGREE The Travel Life's brief moments, swiftly flying, Speed us near and nearer Death; Earth and Time are quickly dying, Passing like a vapor breath. Earth and all its passions perish, Time and all its duties cease; Wealth and power, that mankind cherish, Bring us here no joy and peace. Swift, swifter still, at every breath, Near, and more near, steals silent Death; Help! help us now, O Thou Most High! In this dread hour of mystery. Always a Mason By Douglas Malloch Let no king quite put off his crown! I still would have him kingly when In some old inn the king sat down To banquet with his serving-men. I love a mild and merry priest, Whom Brothers toast, and neighbors prod; Yet would I have him, at the feast, A little of the man of God. So with a Mason: I would see Him somewhat of a Mason still, Though far from Lodge-rooms he may be, In court, or counting-house, or mill. Whatever garment he may doff, What mark Masonic lay aside, I would not have him quite put off The Craft he lately glorified. A soldier is a soldier, though He lays the sword aside awhile. The time, the place, I do not know Man may not serve, or my not smile. I know no moment anywhere,
  21. 21. Whatever place the place may be, A Mason may not always wear A little of his Masonry. The Model Mason By Brother Robert Morris There's a fine old Mason in the land, he's genial, wise and true, His list of brothers comprehends, dear brothers, me and you; So warm his heart the snow blast fails to chill his generous blood, And his hand is like a giant's when outstretched to man or God; -- Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, has checked his course or dimmed his fame -- All honor to his name! This fine old Mason is but one of a large family: In every Lodge you'll find his kin, you'll find them two or three; You'll know them when you see them, for they have their father's face, A generous knack of speaking truth and doing good always; -- Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, has checked their course or dimmed their fame -- Freemason is their name! Ah, many an orphan smiles upon the kindred as they pass; And many a widow's prayers confess the sympathizing grace; The Father of this Brotherhood himself is joyed to see Their works -- they're numbered all in Heaven, those deeds of charity! Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, there check their course or dim their fame -- All honor to their name! Charity From the Short Talk Bulletin, Volume 3, Number 2 (February, 1925) Let me be a little kinder; Let me be a little blinder To the faults of those about me; Let me praise a little more. Let me be, when I am weary, Just a little bit more cheery; Let me serve a little better Those I am striving for. Let me be a little braver When temptation bids me waver; Let me strive a little harder To all I should be. Let me be a little meeker With a brother who is weaker;
  22. 22. Let me think more of my neighbor, And a little less of me. When Are You A Mason? By Wilbur D. Nesbit When are you a Mason? When you go to Lodge If there is a meeting That you cannot dodge? When you wear your button? When still up you climb? The way to be a Mason Is to be one all the time. When are you a Mason? When there's fun and feast, Or when you can bolster With a word at least Some poor devil's spirits! The real help you give. The way to be a Mason Is to be one as you live. When are you a Mason? When some gossip spreads Of another brother, Are you the one who heads Off the hurtful babble, And helps make things right? The way to be a Mason Is to be one day and night. When are you a Mason? Brother, you and I Can make great the Order As the days go by, Through each word and action, Through each song and smile: The way to be a Mason Is to be one all the while! "Listen, Son" By Anonymous.
  23. 23. This is a father's confession. I do not know the author, but it might have been most any father. It does not rhyme, it has no meter but the beating of the human heart. That makes it poetry. I am saying this to you as you lie asleep, one little hand crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I was reading my paper in the library, a hot, stifling wave of remorse swept over me. I could not resist it. Guiltily I came to your bedside. "These are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when I found you had thrown some of your things on the floor." "At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a little hand and called 'Good-bye, Daddy,' and I frowned and said in reply, 'Hold your shoulders back.'" "Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the hill road I spied you, down on your knees playing marbles. There were holes in your socks. I humiliated you before your friends by making you march ahead of me back to the house. Socks were expensive, and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! It was such stupid, silly logic." "Do you remember, later when I was reading in the library, how you came in, softly, timidly, with a sort of hurt, hunted look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. 'What is it you want?' I snapped." "You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, again and again, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God has set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs." "Well, Son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. Suddenly I saw myself as I really was, in all my horrible selfishness, and I felt sick at heart." "What has habit been doing to me? The habit of complaining, of fault finding, of reprimanding . . . . all of these things were my rewards to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you: it was that I expected so much of youth. It was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years." "And here was so much that was good, and fine and true in your character. You did not deserve my treatment of you, so. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. All this was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, Son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, choking with emotions, and so ashamed!" "It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours, yet I must say what I am saying. I must burn sacrificial fires alone, here in your bedroom, and make free confession. And I have prayed God to
  24. 24. strengthen me in my new resolve. Tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: 'He is nothing but a boy . . . a little boy!'" "I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother's arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much." "Dear boy; dear little son! A penitent kneels at your infant shrine, here in the moonlight. I kiss the little fingers and the damp forehead." Sonnet By Carl H. Claudy So many men before thy Altars kneel Unthinkingly, to promise brotherhood; So few remain, humbly to kiss thy rood With ears undeafened to thy mute appeal; So many find thy symbols less than real, Their teachings mystic, hard to understand; So few there are, in all thy far flung band To hold thy banner high and draw thy steel, And yet . . . immortal and most mighty, thou! What hath thy lore of life to let it live? What is the vital spark, hid in thy vow? Thy millions learned, as thy dear paths they trod, The secret of the strength thou hast to give: "I am a way of common men to God." The Goddess of Masonry By Brother Charles F. Forshaw, M.D. From "The Freemason's Chronicle" Goddess of Purity, Spotless and rare; Emblem of Charity Unsullied, fair; Symbol of Meekness -- Radiant, bright, 'Minding the Brethren Of realms of Light -- Strong in the knowledge Virtuous might. Symbol of Chastity,
  25. 25. Spirit of Bliss, Coming to cheer us, Through the abyss, Token of faithfulness -- Be thou our guide; Emblem of Hopefulness -- Keep by our side; Help us and lead us o'er Every dark tide! The Mason's Pledge By Brother Robert Morris Brother, hearken, while I tell you What we Masons pledged to do, When, prepared at yonder altar, We assumed the Mason's vow! Foot and knee, breast, hand and cheek -- Harken while I make them speak! Foot to foot, on mercy's errand, When we hear a brother's cry, Hungry, thirsty, barefooted, naked, With God's mercy let us fly. This of all our thoughts the chief, How to give him quick relief. Knee to knee, in earnest praying, None but God to hear or 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. Breast to breast, in sacred casket, At life's center let us seal Every truth to us entrusted, Nor one holy thing reveal! What a Mason vows to shield, Let him die, but never yield. Hand to back, a brother's falling, Look, his burdens are too great. Stretch the generous hand and hold him Up before it is too late. The right arm's a friendly prop, Made to hold a brother up. Cheek to cheek, in timely whisper When the tempter strives to win,
  26. 26. Urge the brother's bounden duty, Show him the approaching sin, Point to him the deadly snare, Save him with a brother's care. Brother, let us often ponder What we Masons pledged to do, When, prepared at yonder altar, We assumed the Mason's vow; Foot and knee, breast, hand and cheek, Let these oft our duties speak. Mind of God By Brother Robert Morris 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! No Time For God From the 1971 Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi F.&A.M. You've time to build houses and in them to dwell And time to do business -- to buy and to sell; But none for repentance, or deep earnest prayer; To seek your salvation, you've no time to spare. You've time for earth's pleasure, for frolic, for fun, For glittering trees how quickly you run. But care not to seek the fair mansions above; The favor of God or the gift of His love. You've time to take voyages over the sea And time to take in the gay world's jubilee; But soon your bright hopes will be lost in the gloom Of the cold dark river of death and the tomb. You've time to resort to woods, mountains and glen And time to gain knowledge from books and men; But you've no time to search for the wisdom of God.
  27. 27. But what of your soul when you're under the sod? For time will not linger when helpless you lie Staring death in the face, you will take time to die. Then what of the judgment? Pause, think, I implore For time will soon be lost on eternity's shore. Abou Ben Adhem By Leigh Hunt Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And saw, within the moonlight of his room, Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, An angel writing in a book of gold; Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, And to the Presence in the room he said, "What writest thou?" -- The vision raised its head, And with a look made of all sweet accord, Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord." "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so," Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low, But cheerily still; and said "I pray thee, then, Write me as one that loves his fellow-men." The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again with a great wakening light, And showed the names whom love of God had blessed, And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest. A Mason's Greeting By Brother John Edmund Bass (From "The Builder," Anamosa, Iowa, March, 1916) To all who hope for life beyond this living, To all who reverence one holy Name -- Whose liberal hand will not be stayed from giving, Who count all human fellowship the same; Whose lives ascent in wisdom, strength, and beauty, Stone upon stone, square-hewn and founded well, Who love the light -- who tread the path of duty: Greet you well, brethren! Brethren, greet you well! What Makes A Mason?
  28. 28. by George H. Free What makes you a Mason, O brother of mine? It isn't the due-guard, nor is it the sign, It isn't the jewel which hangs on your breast, It isn't the apron in which you are dressed, It isn't the step, nor the token, nor grip, Nor lectures that fluently flow from the lip, Nor yet the possession of that mystic word On five points of fellowship duly conferred. Though these are essential, desirable, fine, They don't make a Mason, O brother of mine. That you to your sworn obligations are true -- 'Tis that, brother mine, makes a Mason of you. Secure in your heart you must safeguard your trust, With lodge and with brother be honest and just, Assist the deserving who cry in their need, Be chaste in your thought, in your word and your deed, Support him who falters, with hope banish fear, And whisper advice in an erring one's ear. Then will the Great Lights on your path brightly shine, And you'll be a Mason, O brother of mine. Your use of life's hours by the gauge you must try, The gavel to vices with courage apply; Your walk must be upright, as shown by the plumb, On the level, to bourne whence no travelers come; The Book of your faith be the rule and the guide, The compass your passions shut safely inside; The stone which the Architect placed in your care Must pass the strict test of His unerring square, And then you will meet with approval divine, And you'll be a Mason, O brother of mine. Challenges for the True Mason I will do more than belong -- I will participate. I will do more than care -- I will help. I will do more than believe -- I will practice. I will do more than be fair -- I will be kind. I will do more than forgive -- I will forget. I will do more than dream -- I will work. I will do more than teach -- I will inspire. I will do more than earn -- I will enrich. I will do more than give -- I will serve. I will do more than live -- I will grow. I will do more then be friendly -- I will be a friend. I will do more than be a citizen -- I will be a patriot.

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