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  SOME   FAVORITE  
 MASONIC  POEMS


The Past Master

"Who's the stranger, Mother, dear?
Look: he knows us--ain't he queer?"

"Hush, my son, don't talk so wild,
"He's your father, dearest child."

"He's my father? It's not so,
Father died six years ago."

"Dad didn't die, O lover mine,
He's been going through the line.

But he's been Master now so he
Has no place to go you see---

No place left for him to roam---
That is why he is coming home,

Kiss him---he won't bite you child.
All Past Masters are quite mild."


FAVORITE
MASONIC  POETRY
THEY ALL CAME JUST FOR ME
TEN MASTER MASONS
LAST NIGHT I KNELT WHERE HIRAM KNELT
I SAT IN LODGE WITH YOU
TAKE MY HAND; FOLLOW ME
ON THE SQUARE
I SEE YOU'VE TRAVELED SOME
THE LAMB SKIN
I'M NOT OLD...JUST MATURE
PREACHER MAN'S BLUES



TEN MASTER MASONS

Ten Master Masons, happy, doing fine;
One listened to a rumor, then there were nine.

Nine Master Masons, faithful, never late;
One didn't like the "Master," then there were eight.

Eight Master Masons, on their way to heaven;
One joined to many clubs, then there were seven.

Seven Master Masons, life dealt some hard licks;
One grew discouraged, then there were six.

Six Master Masons, all very much alive;
One lost his interest, then there were five.

Five Master Masons, wishing there were more;
Got into a great dispute, then there were four.

Four Master Masons, busy as could be;
One didn't like the programs, then there were three.

Three Master Masons, was one of them you?
One grew tired of all the work, then there were two.

Two Master Masons with so much to be done;
One said "What's the use," then there was one.

One Master Mason, found a brother -- true!
Brought him to the Lodge, then there were two.

Two Master Masons didn't find work a bore;
Each brought another, then there were four.

Four Master Masons saved their Lodges fate;
By showing others kindness, then there were eight.

Eight Master Masons, loving their Lodges bright sheen;
Talked so much about it, they soon counted sixteen.

Sixteen Master Masons, to their obligations true;
Were pleased when their number went to thirty-two.

So we can't put our troubles at the Lodges door;
It's our fault for harming the Lodge we adore.

Don't fuss about the programs or the "Master" in the East;
Keep your obligation by serving even the very least.

Author Unknown


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"I'M NOT OLD...JUST MATURE"

Today at the drugstore, the clerk was a gent.
From my purchase this chap took off ten percent.
I asked for the cause of a lesser amount;
And he answered, "Because of the Seniors Discount."

I went to McDonald's for a burger and fries;
And there, once again, got quite a surprise.
The clerk poured some coffee which he handed to me.
He said, "For you, Seniors, the coffee is free."

Understand--I'm not old--I'm merely mature;
But some things are changing, temporarily, I'm sure.
The newspaper print gets smaller each day,
And people speak softer--can't hear what they say.

My teeth are my own (I have the receipt.),
And my glasses identify people I meet.
Oh, I've slowed down a bit . . . not a lot, I am sure.
You see, I'm not old . . . I'm only mature.

The gold in my hair has been bleached by the sun.
You should see all the damage that clorine has done.
Washing my hair has turned it all white,
But don't call it gray . . . saying "blond" is just right.

My car is all paid for . . . not a nickel is owed.
Yet a kid yells, "Old duffer . . . get off of the road!"
My car has no scratches . . . not even a dent.
Still I get all that guff from a punk who's "Hell bent."

My friends all get older . . . much faster than me.
They seem much more wrinkled, from what I can see.
I've got "character lines," not wrinkles . . . for sure,
But don't call me old . . . just call me mature.

The steps in the houses they're building today
Are so high that they take . . . your breath all away;
And the streets are much steeper than ten years ago.
That should explain why my walking is slow.

But I'm keeping up on what's hip and what's new,
And I think I can still dance a mean boogaloo.
I'm still in the running . . . in this I'm secure,
I'm not really old . . . I'm only mature.


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LAST NIGHT I KNELT WHERE HIRAM KNELT

Last night I knelt where Hiram knelt
and took an obligation
today I'm closer to my God
and I'm a Master Mason

Tho' heretofore my fellow men
seemed each one like the other
today I search each one apart
I'm looking for my brother

And as I feel his friendly grip
it fills my heart with pride
I know that while I'm on the square
that he is by my side

His footsteps on my errand go
if I should such require:
His prayers will lead in my behalf
if I should so desire

My words are safe within his breast
as though within my own
his hand forever at my back
to help me safely home

Good counsel whispers in my ear
and warns of any danger
By square and compass, Brother now!
Who once would call me stranger

I might have lived a moral life
and risen to distinction
Without my Brothers helping hand
and fellowship of Masons

But God, who knows how hard it is
to resist life's temptations
knows why I knelt where Hiram knelt
and took that obligation.

Pat M. Armstrong
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I SAT IN LODGE WITH YOU

There is a saying filled with cheer,
Which calls a man to fellowship.
It means as much for him to hear
As lies within the brother grip.

Nay, more! It opens wide the way
To friendliness sincere and true;
There are no strangers when you say
To me: "I sat in lodge with you."

When that is said, then I am known;
There is no questioning nor doubt;
I need not walk my path alone
Nor from my fellows be shut out.

Those words hold all of brotherhood
And help me face the world anew
There's something deep and rich and good
In this: "I sat in lodge with you."

Though in far lands one needs must roam
By sea and shore and hill and plain,
Those words bring him a touch of home
And lighten tasks that seem in vain.

Men's faces are no longer strange
But seem as those he always knew
When some one brings the joyous change
With this: "I sat in lodge with you."

So you, my brother, now and then
Have often put me in your debt
By showing forth to other men
That you your friends do not forget.

When all the world seems gray and cold
And I am weary, worn and blue
Then comes this golden thought I hold
You said: "I sat in lodge with you."

When to the last great Lodge you fare
My prayer is that I may be
One of your friends who wait you there
Intent your smiling face to see.

We, with the warden at the gate,
Will have a pleasant task to do;
We'll call, though you come soon or late:
"Come in! We sat in lodge with you!"

Wilbur D. Nesbit


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TAKE MY HAND; FOLLOW ME

When I was a young man, a long time ago,
The secrets of Masonry I wanted to know.
Of a Mason I asked what those secrets might be.
He replied,"First, we talk, then we will see."

A petition he granted and ordered it filled
To be read at a meeting and a judgment be willed.
Then questions I answered about God and home;
Of habits and friends; a wife or alone.

In time I was summoned - a date to appear
Before an assembly of men gathered near.
I entered the building and looked up the stair;
Does pleasure or pain await me up there?

A hazing by paddle, taunting by joke?
My petition accepted or maybe revoked?
Introductions and handshakes welcomed me there
And lessons symbolic, an aid to prepare

For a journey in darkness, a predestined plight
To a Holy of Holies, the source of all light.
How well I remember what I heard someone say,
To enter God's Kingdom there is but one way;

Be ye naked and blind, penniless and poor;
These you must suffer 'fore entering that door.
The journey ahead is not yours to know,
But trust in your God wherever you go.

Then assurance from the darkness whispered tenderly,
"My Friend, be not afraid;
TAKE MY HAND;
FOLLOW ME."

With nervous attention a path I then trod;
A pathway in darkness to the altar of God.
With cable-tow and hoodwink, on bare bended knee,
A covenant was made there between God and me.

Charges and promises were made there that night.
Dispelling the darkness and bringing me light.
Mid lightening and thunder and Brethren on row!
Cast off the darkness! And cast off the tow!

In the company of men, a man you must be,
Moral in character, the whole world to see.
Trust in your God, promise daily anew
To be honest and upright in all things you do.

Each man is a brother in charity to share
With those suffering hunger, pain or despair.
The widow and orphan and brother in pain
Depend on your mercy their welfare to gain.

The secrets of Brethren keep only in mind.
To the ladies of Brethren be noble and kind.
Go now, my brother, your journey's begun
Your wages await you when your journey is done.

That journey I started, Oh, so long ago
And I've learned of those things I wanted to know.
I've learned of the secrets, not secret at all,
But hidden in knowledge within Masons' hall.

Childhood yields to manhood, manhood yields to age,
Ignorance yields to knowledge, knowledge yields to sage.
I've lived all my life the best that I could,
Knowing full well how a good Mason should.

I know of those times when I slipped and then fell.
What's right and what's wrong were not easy to tell.
But a trust in my God and a true brother's hand.
Helped raise me up and allowed me to stand.

I've strode down the old path, Masonically worn
By all Mason's raised for the Masons unborn.
But this tired old body, once young and so bold,
Now suffers the afflictions of having grown old.

The almond tree's flourished; the grinders are few.
The housekeepers tremble; desires fail too.
The locusts are a burden; fears are in the way.
The golden bowl is breaking, a little every day.

Mine eyes are again darkened, my sight again to fail;
I sense the Master's presence mid my family's silent wail.
I've laid aside my working tools, my day is nearly done.
For long I've played the game of life; the game's no longer fun.

Life's pathway ends before me. I see what's meant for me;
An acacia plant is growing where a beehive used to be.
The Ethereal Lodge has summoned from beyond the wailing wall
And I vowed that I must answer when summoned by a call.

Again I stand bewildered at the bottom of the stair
In nervous apprehension of what awaits me there.
Once again, and now alone, I stand without the door.
With faltering hand, I slowly knock as once I did before.

I pray again to hear those words,
whispered tenderly,
"My son, be not afraid.TAKE MY HAND;
FOLLOW ME."

Sir Knight Alvin F. Bohne, P.M.


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PREACHER MAN'S BLUES


Well, I got me this congregation,
'bout to put me in the ground.
They won't pay their apportionments,
And its always bringin' me down.

They complain about the music,
And they complain about the choir.
The way they like to gripe and moan,
You'd think they was paid by the hour.

The Youth Groups full of hormones
and the Trustees don't do a thing.
The Ad. Council argues for four whole months
To let the Day-care buy a swing.

They won't read their Bibles,
And I can't get them to pray.
They all want to have everything just right
But nobody wants to pay.

If I go to one more meeting,
I think I'm gonna die.
When I look at the attendance figures,
I want to hang my head and cry.

Seems like they're having a contest
To see who can be best pain in the neck.
But everything seems a little better when
The treasurer gives me my check.

I got me this congregation,
And I think I'll call it mine.
Cause when I think of getting a real job,
All this starts to look pretty fine.

Blind Lynn Snider (Well, I do have rather strong glasses)


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ON THE SQUARE

My Brother, in the Courtyard
Each one of us have stood
Outside the tyled Temple door
Awaiting as we should.

Take heed, thou young Apprentices
The Word emblazoned there:
To meet upon the level
And part upon the square.

My Brother, at the Altar
Each one of us has knelt
With solemn Oath and Brotherhood
The Mystic Tie we've felt.

Take heed, my Brother Fellowcraft
The Word emblazoned there:
To act upon the plumb
And part upon the Square.

My Brother, in the Temple
Each one of us were Raised
And on receiving further light
Into the Light we gazed.

Take heed, my Brothers, Masters all
The Word emblazoned there:
To Live within the compass
And part upon the Square.


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THEY ALL CAME JUST FOR ME

Something big is going on here.
Or so I thought that night,
As the Masons came to gather round
the Great and lesser lights.

One from here and one from there
From places far and wide,
They came to do, I knew not what,
As they gathered there inside.

But from each man I was greeted
With a smile and voice of cheer.
One said, "so you're the candidate.
The reason that we're here."

I scarcely knew just what he meant,
For this was my "first degree."
There must be much for them to do
Before they got to me.

Surely these guys would not travel
for the sake of just one man.
Yes, there must be much for them to do,
Before my part began.

The "Brother Tiler" was my company
As I waited at the door
To step into this brand new realm
I had not known before.

They shared with me the three Great Lights
and some tools of the trade,
That I might learn a thing or two
of how a man be better made.

When at last I had been seated
In this brotherhood of men
The Master then began to bring
The meeting to an end.

And with all things then completed,
They stayed a little more,
To eat and drink and share a laugh
Before heading toward the door.

But as we left I understood
And then began to see.
That they all came for one reason.
They all came just for me.

Dear brothers I pray every lodge
Will make new ones like me,
Feel as welcome as these brothers did,
When they held my First Degree.


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I SEE YOU'VE TRAVELED SOME

Author unknown

Wherever you may chance to be
Wherever you may roam,
Far away in foreign lands;
Or just at Home Sweet Home.

It always gives you pleasure,
it makes your heart strings hum
Just to hear the words of cheer,
"I see you've traveled some."

When you get a brother's greeting,
And he takes you by the hand,
It thrills you with a feeling
that you cannot understand.

You feel that bond of brotherhood
that tie that's sure to come
When you hear him say in a friendly way
"I see you've traveled some."

And if you are a stranger,
In strange lands all alone
If fate has left you stranded
Dead broke and far from home.

It thrills you--makes you numb,
When he says with a grip
of fellowship,
"I see you've traveled some."

And when your final summons comes,
To take a last long trip,
Adorned with Lambskins Apron White
and gems of fellowship.

The tiler at the Golden Gate,
With square and rule and plumb
Will size up your pin and say "Walk In",
"I see you've traveled some."


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THE LAMB SKIN
Edgar A. Guest

It is not ornamental, the cost is not great,
There are other things far more useful, yet truly I state,
Tho of all my possesions, there's none can compare,
With that white leather apron, which all Masons wear.

As a young lad I wondered just what it all meant,
When Dad hustled around, and so much time was spent
On shaving and dressing and looking just right,
Until Mother would say: "It's the Masons tonight."

And some winter nights she said: "What makes you go,
Way up there tonight thru the sleet and the snow,
You see the same things every month of the year."
Then Dad would reply: "Yes, I know it, my dear."

Forty years I have seen the same things, it is true.
And though they are old, they always seem new,
For the hands that I clasp, and the friends that I greet,
Seem a little bit closer each time that we meet."

Years later I stood at that very same door,
With good men and true who had entered before,
I knelt at the alter, and there I was taught
That virtue and honor can never be bought.

That the spotless white lambskin all Masons revere,
If worthily worn grows more precious each year,
That service to others brings blessings untold,
That man may be poor tho surrounded by gold.

I learned that true brotherhood flourishes there,
That enmities fade 'neath the compass and square,
That wealth and position are all thrust aside,
As there on the level men meet and abide.

So, honor the lambskin, may it always remain
Forever unblemished, and free from all stain,
And when we are called to the Great Father's love,
May we all take our place in that Lodge up above.


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