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Back to List of All Masonic Poems

Why Have They Left Us?

Rob Morris

Why have they left us? did we not impart
Through Masons' ceremonials, noble thought?
Is there one doctrine, dear to generous heart,
We have not, somewhere, in our system wrought?
Faith, Hope in God, a childlike Reverence,
High, brotherly Trust, a very strong defense,
And patriotic Zeal, and love for Art,
Such are the lines we printed on their heart.

Why have they left us? did they not receive
Within our tyled retreats a holy thing?
Walls, floor, and ceiling, all combined to weave
The pattern woven by Judea's king
Bright types of truth immortal, old and quaint,
Things rare and common in strange union blent
The Square, the Trowel, objects near and far,
The quivering Leaflet and the Orient Star.

Why have they left us? in yon hallowed graves
Are there not buried friends for whom they mourn?
How can they look where yonder willow waves
Nor long for those who've passed death's solemn bourne?
We laid them there with mystic signals, given
All earnestly, connecting earth with Heaven,
We'll join them there when the great Word shall come,
And with them rise when bursts th' inclosing tomb.

Why have they left us? do they feel secure
That trials and afflictions will not come?
Can they suppose that earthly things endure,
That anything is sure, this side the tomb?
Health, Wealth, Prosperity are but a span,
That mocks with transient bliss deluded man,
When Sorrow shades us, Oh, how good to bend
Our steps toward the Lodge where friend meets friend!

Then let the good return and go with us
Their vacant seats wait to be occupied
Our shattered ranks have long bewailed their loss
Worse the deserter than the faithful dead!
Return, go with us in our generous toil
Return, sleep with us in our hallowed soil
And when the well pleased Master calls his own,
Stand by our side before the Great White Throne!

Commentary

They went out from us, because they were not of us for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 1 John ii, 19.
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