The Ashlar Company
For the good of the craft...
THE MODEL MASON
By Bro. ROB. 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!
THE FIVE POINTS SYMBOLISM
By BRO. N. A. McAULAY
(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, October, 1916)
Foot to foot that we may go,
Where our help we can bestow:
Pointing out the better way,
Lest our brothers go astray.
Thus our steps should always lead
To the souls that are in need.
Knee to knee, that we may share
Every brother's needs in prayer:
Giving all his wants a place,
When we seek the throne of grace.
In our thoughts from day to day
For each other we should pray.
Breast to breast, to there conceal,
What our lips must not reveal
When a brother does confide,
We must by his will abide.
Mason's secrets to us known,
We must cherish as our own.
Hand to back, our love to show
To the brother, bending low:
Underneath a load of care,
Which we may and ought to share.
That the weak may always stand,
Let us lend a helping hand.
Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear,
That our lips may whisper cheer,
To our brother in distress:
Whom our words can aid and bless.
Warn him if he fails to see,
Dangers that are known to thee.
Foot to foot, and knee to knee,
Breast to breast, as brothers we:
Hand to back and mouth to ear,
Then that mystic word we hear,
Which we otherwise conceal,
But on these five points reveal.
IS IT MASONRY?
By BRO. F. G. OLIVER
(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, March, 1915)
Is it Masonry
To dare to take God's name in vain,
Or be careful of our speech
From evil thoughts and words refrain,
And practice what we preach?
Is it Masonry
To boast of your fine jewels,
Or purify your heart
To be a man and Mason
And act a Mason's part?
Is it Masonry
To fail to help your brothers,
Or your obligations fill?
To leave it for the others,
Or mean and say "I will"?
AN OLD MASONIC TOAST
"To him that all things understood,
To him that found the stone and wood,
To him that hapless lost his blood
In doing of his duty.
To that blest age, and that blest morn
Wherein those three great men were born,
Our noble science to adorn
With Wisdom, Strength and Beauty."
They're traced in lines on the Parthenon,
Inscribed by the subtle Greek
And Roman legions have carved them on
Walls, roads and arch antique
Long ere the Goth, with vandal hand,
Gave scope to his envy dark,
The Mason craft in many a land
Has graven its Mason mark.
The obelisk old and the pyramids,
Around which a mystery clings,-
The Hieroglyphs on the coffin lids
Of weird Egyptian kings,
Syria, Carthage and Pompeii,
Buried and strewn and stark,
Have marble records that will not die,
Their primitive Mason mark.
Upon column and frieze and capital,
In the eye of the chaste volute, -
On Scotia's curve, or an astrogal,
Or in triglyp's channel acute,-
Cut somewhere on the entablature,
And oft, like a sudden spark,
Flashing a light on a date obscure,
Shines many a Mason mark.
These craftsmen old had a genial whim,
That nothing could ever destroy,
With a love of their art that naught could dim,
They toiled with a chronic joy
Nothing was too complex to essay,
In aught they dashed to embark
They triumphed on many an Appian Way,
Where they'd left their Mason mark.
Crossing the Alps like Hannibal,
Or skirting the Pyranees,
On peak and plain, in crypt and cell,
On foot or on bandaged knees -
From Tiber to Danube, from Rhine to Seine,
They needed no "letters of marque" -
Their art was their passport in France and Spain,
And in Britain their Mason mark.
The monolith gray and Druid chair,
The pillars and towers of Gael,
In Ogharn occult their age they bear,
That time can only reveal.
Live on, old monuments of the past,
Our beacons through ages dark!
In primal majesty still you'll last,
Endeared by each Mason mark.
THE THREE GREAT LIGHTS
(From The S. A. Masonic journal)
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.
By BRO. NEAL A. McCauley
(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, August, 1915)
Build up your life like the temple of old
With stones that are polished and true
Cement it with love, and adorn it with gold
As all Master builders should do:
Upon a foundation, well chosen and strong,
Build now for the ages to come:
Make use of the good, while rejecting the wrong-
And test all your work with the plumb.
By L. B. M.
(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, March, 1916)
G rander than the lines that Pythagoras drew,
E ngraved on the hearts that ever are true,
O nward and beyond the science it ran, -
M asonry, the nature religion of man.
E nter thy temple, sweet spirit, and there
T ry us by compasses, level and square.
R ightly interpreting our mystical art
Y ou can speculate on with happy heart.
I AM! I AM!
Are you a Mason? Aye, I am! But stay
The mere profession of its principles,
When unsupported by the daily acts
Of duty it involves, proves false the tale,
And Truth, that attribute divine, the sure
Foundation of Masonic heritage,
Shrinks back appalled at such a mockery,
Which, like the barren fig tree, fair to sight,
Is but the semblance of a fruitful tree.
"Faith without works is dead"
Profession without practice, dead, also
A man's a Mason only when he strives
To make his practice quadrate with his creed.
What is a Mason?
Symbol of a race,
Grand and historic, 'neath whose steadfast hands
The mighty fabric of the Temple rose,
Until in beauty and strength it stood
Harmoniously proclaiming, God is great!
Though-at the dictum of the power to whom
'Twas raised -overthrown and crumbled into dust,
With not a fragment left to mark the place,
Or tell the tale of its magnificence
The art survives, but not alone
In perishable stone.
Through faith in God,
And hope of immortality, we build
A spiritual temple to His name
Founded on Truth and righteous Charity.
Oh, glorious fellowship! Unshackled by
Mortal interpretation of the word
Vouchsafed by God to man, we seek the Truth
In Love, the refulgent essence of all Truth,
Which is of God alone, and God is Love.
He, then, who takes the compasses in hand
To circumscribe his daily life, will find
The center in that Love to God expressed
In deeds of charity and love to men.
By BRO. DAVID E. GUYTON
(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, October, 1915)
We build us temples tall and grand,
With gifts we heap our altars high,
Unheeding how, on every hand,
The hungry and the naked cry.
We sound our creeds in trumpet tone,
With zeal we compass 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 souls 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.
By BRO. JOHN GEORGE GMSON
(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, April, 1917)
Does the square that you wear mean the test by your God
Of the work that you do, and the word that you speak,
Of the will of your mind, the thought of your heart,
Of the Past that is gone, of the Future you seek?
The Compasses you wear, does it mean that you move
Within the true bound appointed and sure,
Restricted desire, pleasure defined,
A yielding of self to the bonds that endure?
The Triangle too -great emblem of Him
Who is Maker, and Master, Beginning and End, -
Do you wear it to show that He is to you
The Source and the Aim that all others transcend?
What means the gold trowel that hangs at your chain?
Does it tell of the mortar of Love that you spread?
Of the joint well cement with fine brotherly love?
Of the stones that now lie in the well-mortared bed?
If 'tis not so, then take the poor jewels away
The meaningless bauble will only deceive
Yourself and the others you meet on your way
As meaningless lies which none ever believe.
By BRO. FRANK W. REED
(From Masonic Monthly, Philadelphia, Pa., May, 1917)
When back we look upon the darksome way
From which we traveled with uncertain mind,
The selfsame mystic monsters do we find
Still making dolts their arrogance obey.
Confusing craftiness seeking to dismay
Each forward thought their mental eyes to blind,
Enthroned deceit yells curses from behind,
And preaches hell to crutch its dying sway.
But when at last the will asserts its force,
And gains release from shackles long endured,
The phantom doubt dissolves in dawning light
And from on high, where freedom gets its source,
A soul, newborn, of future life assured,
Finds God is love in each Masonic Rite.
By BRO. R. J. McLAUGHLIN
The ciders of our ancient art
Built Temples, high and fair,
And never stone was laid in place
And never column rose in grace,
Untested by the Square.
Our elders left a heritage,
Up reared in wood and stone,
That we, who follow, might behold
The craft of these, the men of old,
Thus, through their works, made known.
Oh, let us do our work as well,
Though never dome we raise,
With brain untutored, hand unskilled,
A square-set Temple may we build,
Of simple nights and days.
The Square of Virtue for our acts
Wherewith to set them true,
Can make a building, standing quite
As worthy in our children's sight,
And in the Master's, too.
Thus may we, too, great builders be
As any ancient race
Our Temple is the square-set mind,
Wherein the Master's Self may find
A fitting dwelling-place.
By BRO. C. M. BOUTELLE
(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, November, 1915)
My foot to thy foot, however thy foot may stray
Thy path for my path, however dark the way.
My knee to thy knee, whatever be thy prayer
Thy plea my plea, in every need and care.
My breast to thy breast, in every doubt or hope
Thy silence mine too, whatever thy secret's scope.
My strength is thy strength, whenever thou shalt call
Strong arms stretch love's length, through darkness, toward thy fall!
My words shall follow thee, kindly warning, fond,
Through life, through drear death-and all that lies beyond!
A BROKEN ASHLAR
By BRO. SEYMOUR BRANDES
(From The New Age Magazine, Washington, D. C., April, 1915)
A sense of imperfection round me clings
I hear an inward voice in deep lament:
Through the dark chancel of my soul there rings
A boding chant, with fear and yearning blent.
Thin as a specter's voice in lonely round:
I cannot tell from whence it came-or why,-
It harrows all my thoughts with mournful sound,
Like echoes of a drowning seaman's cry.
The precious pearls of wasted talent thrown
In isolated spots of my life's field:
Its irrecoverable riches sown
As worthless seed that gave a barren yield.
The images of folly, sloth and sin
That flecked with error all my nobler past,
Troop mockingly around with leering grin
I view with shuddering doubt-I am aghast!
THE WORKING TOOLS
By BRO. A. S. MAcBRIDE
(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, February, 1916)
Go, work on mind and matter now,
A Master raised to power art thou,
Impress on each and all you can
Wise Heaven's eternal Temple-plan.
As on a trestle-board portray
The great Design, from day to day,
And build, in silence rever'ntly,
The temple of Humanity.
AH, WHEN SHALL WE THREE
By JOHN H. SHEPPARD, late of Boston, Mass.
Ah, when shall we three meet, like them
Who last were at Jerusalem? For three there were, but one is not, -
He lies where Acacia marks the spot.
Though poor he was, with kings he trod
Though great, he humbly knelt to God
Ah, when shall those restore again
The broken link of friendship's chain?
Behold, where mourning beauty bent
In silence o'er his monument,
And widely spread in sorrow there
The ringlets of her flowing hair!
The future Sons of Grief will sigh,
While standing round in mystic tie,
And raise their hands, alas! to
Heaven, In anguish that no hope is given.
From whence we came, or whither go,
Ask me no more, nor seek to know,
Till three shall meet who formed, like them
The GRAND LODGE at JERUSALEM.
NEXT SECTION OF POEMS ARE FOR INSPIRATION AND FAITH
ALL POEMS BY ARTHUR R. HERRMANN
BREAD UPON THE WATERS
I took a brother by the hand I spoke a word of cheer
It gave him strength, renewed his hope,
And helped to banish fear.
How passing strange is life, my friend,
For as the years sped by 1, too,
was faced with dark despair And life held but a sigh.
My friend now took me by the hand,
And whispered words of cheer-The same soul-lifting words I spoke
To him, another year.
'Twas then I knew the bread I'd cast,
As in the Scriptures told,
Upon the waters had returned
To bless me now, two-fold!
Poems of Inspiration and Faith
Now that the summer days are past,
The call to Labor comes at last,
And parted brothers, in the Fall,
Assemble for the Lodge roll-call.
Once more the gavel sounds the cue
For friends and brothers, tried and true,
To meet on Level, Plumb and Square '€“
Their joys and sorrows each to share.
O, brothers of the Mystic Tic,
So many tasks before us lie
Ere war and strife on earth doth cease
And Brotherhood brings joy and peace.
So let us labor-let us strive
To keep our Mason's way alive
Ours is the duty-ours the right
To help shed darkness, spread the Light!
THE LODGE ALTAR
'Round Thy sacred altar, now,
Do Thy children humbly bow
Rev'rently they gather there:
Awed and silent in their prayer
Grateful for Thy blessed Light,
Shining through the darkened night,
Teaching Brotherhood to men
That all strife may cease again,
And, upon this earthly sod,
Men may always turn to God!
A THANKSGIVING PRAYER
Oh, Lord, now this we're thankful for:
The good things life has held in store
The love of those within our home,
And friends to greet wherever we roam
The health and strength wherewith to toil,
The bounteous food from freedom's soil
We thank Thee for the right to pray
And worship Thee in our own way
To live within a land that's free
For this, dear Lord, our thanks to Thee
And through these blessings, one by one,
May Thy will, Lord, on earth be done!
UNTO THE LEAST
The beggar's hand stretched forth in silent plea:
I turned away, nor did I care to see
So busy was I with my own affairs,
I gave no thought to other people's cares.
That night I dreamed a vision of the Cross,
And of the Christ whose death was mankind's loss
His dying lips moved-plainly could I see
"Who gives unto the least, gives unto Me."
Next day I hurried to the public square
The ragged beggar still stood mutely there.
I gave him coin as quickly by I trod,
Then, turning, recognized the face of God.
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