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The Lodge Far Away

J. H. Harrison

1897
Here we meet upon the level,
Craftsmen! on the checker'd floor
Of our great symbolic building,
Reared to labor, love and lore,
That has ever ope'd its portals
To the worthy, rich and poor

We have turned us from the thronging
Of the aimless of the land,
To our temples' sacred altars,
To her laws and lessons grand,
To the teachings, that, forever
Like the temple, here we stand.

Right well laid is her foundation,
It is builded deep and strong,
Cemented to sustain the right,
And to e'er resist the wrong.
Unyielding to Time's ravage,
As the ages glide along.

Aye - upon a rock eternal,
This beauteous structure stands,
A blessed beacon seen of men,
In the near and farther lands,
And divinely planned of Heaven,
Though 'tis wrought with human hands.

See her adamantine corners
Reflecting light and the peace
That will lighten all our labors,
Till our labors here shall cease,
Till we leave the square and trowel,
Till the Master gives release.

Do we love those polished pillars,
Rising grandly by the aisle,
That glisten in the glory-light,
That lingers here the while?
A million years unite as one,
And re-echoes through the pile.

And the grandeur of the arches,
Of the great o'erspreading dome,
Inspires us with a love akin
To the tender ties of home,
And, brothers, in this holy bond,
To the temple now we come.

Love and peace unfold their pinions,
That sublime and sacred pair,
And benignly hover o'er us -
They are guardian angels there
While harmony's sweet spirit floats
Roundabout us everywhere.

Here we meet, then, fellow-craftsmen,
As within a sacred fane,
'Tis a mystic tie that binds us,
And, if hence, its golden chain
Is by only death dissevered,
We have labored not in vain.

While we linger here and labour,
Each performing well his share
If there be distressed and needy,
Some that claim our help and care,
Let them our ways and works be tried,
By the level, plumb and square.

And here let us oft assemble,
In the temple, where enshrined,
We have labor, love and learning,
Glorious trinity combined
To sanctify the hand and heart,
And to elevate the mind

Commentary

THE CANADIAN CRAFTSMAN - OCT 1897
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