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The Visitor's Welcome

Rob Morris

1878
It is the pride of ancient Masonry,
When Lodge fires blaze and Craftsmen gather round,
That in the East, upraised where all may see,
An honored place is for the Stranger found.

Amid the Friends in Council then, I come,
To claim the stranger's seat and welcome, too
For in my far-off, loved Kentucky home,
There waits such welcome, Friends beloved, for you.

The Stranger represents the absent Host
The Universal Lodge through him is here
Himself though lowly, he may proudly boast
That in his person all the Craft appear.

Around me, though invisible, there stand
The forms of Franklin and of Washington,
Of Clinton, Hubbard, Clay, O, 'tis a Band,
No man can number 'neath the circling sun.

Rank upon rank they throng me, though I am
Not worthy to unloose the latchet-string
Such honor glorifies the Stranger's name,
When made the subject of your welcoming.

Then, as the spokesman of this mighty throng,
O Friends in Council, hear the Stranger's word:
His aims are yours, like yours his vows are strong,
His Overseer is yours, the Mason's Lord.

His word is Fides Brethren, con it well,
And Fides Incorrupta your reply
Let it be with you while on earth you dwell,
Let it fly with you when you mount the sky.

Commentary

Composed to he read before The Friends in Council Lodge No. 1383, London, England, at a visit, September 3, 1878.
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