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The Death of the Grand Master
His voice was low, his utterance choked,
He seemed like one in sorrow bound,
As from the Orient he invoked
God's blessings on the Masons round.
'Tis sad to see the strong man weep —
Tears are for sorrows yet untried
But who with sympathy can keep,
When age unseals emotion's tide?
Reverently stood the Brothers round,
While their Grand Master breathed farewell,
And strove to catch the faintest sound
Of accents known and loved so well.
He told them of the zealous care
Of their forefathers of the Art
How valley-gloom and mountain-air
Bore witness of the faithful heart.
He conned the precepts, line by line —
Oh, that the Craft may ne'er despise
Precepts so precious, so divine,
That shape the Mason mysteries!
He warned them of a world unkind,
Harsh to the good, to evil mild,
Whose surest messengers are blind,
Whose purest fountains are defiled.
He told them of a world to come,
To which this life a portal is,
Where tired laborers go home,
To scenes of never ending bliss.
Then of himself he humbly spoke —
So modestly! so tenderly!
While from the saddened group there broke
An answering sigh of sympathy:
Now give me rest my years demand
A holiday, Companions dear!
My days are drawing to an end,
And I would for my end prepare.
Now give me rest but when you meet,
Brothers, in this beloved spot,
My name upon your lips repeat,
And never let it be forgot!
Now unto God, the Mason's Friend,
The God our emblems brightly tell,
Your dearest interests I commend —
Brothers, dear Brothers, oh, farewell!
Down from the Orient, slowly down,
Weeping, through that sad group he passed,
Turned once and gazed, and then was gone.
That look — his tenderest and his last.
His last — for, ere the week had sped,
That group, with sorrow unrepressed,
Gathered around their honored dead —
Bore their Grand Master to his rest!
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