There's a fine old Mason in the land, he's genial, wise and true,

His list of brothers comprehends, dear brothers, me and you;

So warm his heart the snow blast fails to chill his generous blood,

And his hand is like a giant's when outstretched to man or GOD; 

Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, has checked his course or dimmed his fame

All honor to his name!

This fine old Mason is but one of a large family:

In every lodge you'll find his kin, you'll find them two or three;

You'll know them when you see them, for they have their father's face,

A generous knack of speaking truth and doing good always;

Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, has checked their course or dimmed their fame -

Freemason is their name!

Ah, many an orphan smiles upon the kindred as they pass;

And many a widow's prayers confess the sympathizing grace;

The FATHER of this Brotherhood himself is joyed to see

Their works -they're numbered all in Heaven, those deeds of charity!

Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, there check their course or dim their fame -

All honor to their name!




(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, October, 1916)

Foot to foot that we may go,

Where our help we can bestow:

Pointing out the better way,

Lest our brothers go astray.

Thus our steps should always lead

To the souls that are in need.


Knee to knee, that we may share

Every brother's needs in prayer:

Giving all his wants a place,

When we seek the throne of grace.

In our thoughts from day to day

For each other we should pray.


Breast to breast, to there conceal,

What our lips must not reveal;

When a brother does confide,

We must by his will abide.

Mason's secrets to us known,

We must cherish as our own.


Hand to back, our love to show

To the brother, bending low:

Underneath a load of care,

Which we may and ought to share.

That the weak may always stand,

Let us lend a helping hand.


Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear,

That our lips may whisper cheer,

To our brother in distress:

Whom our words can aid and bless.

Warn him if he fails to see,

Dangers that are known to thee.


Foot to foot, and knee to knee,

Breast to breast, as brothers we:

Hand to back and mouth to ear,

Then that mystic word we hear,


            Which we otherwise conceal,

But on these five points reveal.




(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, March, 1915)


Is it Masonry

To dare to take God's name in vain,

Or be careful of our speech;

From evil thoughts and words refrain,

And practice what we preach?

Is it Masonry

To boast of your fine jewels,

Or purify your heart;

To be a man and Mason

And act a Mason's part?

Is it Masonry

To fail to help your brothers,

Or your obligations fill?

To leave it for the others,

Or mean and say "I will"?




"To him that all things understood,

            To him that found the stone and wood,

            To him that hapless lost his blood

                        In doing of his duty.

            To that blest age, and that blest morn

            Wherein those three great men were born,

            Our noble science to adorn

With Wisdom, Strength and Beauty."




They're traced in lines on the Parthenon,

Inscribed by the subtle Greek;

And Roman legions have carved them on

Walls, roads and arch antique;

Long ere the Goth, with vandal hand,

Gave scope to his envy dark,

The Mason craft in many a land

Has graven its Mason mark.


The obelisk old and the pyramids,

Around which a mystery clings,-

The Hieroglyphs on the coffin lids

Of weird Egyptian kings,


Syria, Carthage and Pompeii,

Buried and strewn and stark,

Have marble records that will not die,

Their primitive Mason mark.


Upon column and frieze and capital,

In the eye of the chaste volute, -

On Scotia's curve, or an astrogal,

Or in triglyp's channel acute,-

Cut somewhere on the entablature,

And oft, like a sudden spark,

Flashing a light on a date obscure,

Shines many a Mason mark.


These craftsmen old had a genial whim,

That nothing could ever destroy,

With a love of their art that naught could dim,

They toiled with a chronic joy;

Nothing was too complex to essay,

In aught they dashed to embark;

They triumphed on many an Appian Way,

Where they'd left their Mason mark.


Crossing the Alps like Hannibal,

Or skirting the Pyranees,

On peak and plain, in crypt and cell,

On foot or on bandaged knees; -

From Tiber to Danube, from Rhine to Seine,

They needed no "letters of marque;" -

Their art was their passport in France and Spain,

And in Britain their Mason mark.


The monolith gray and Druid chair,

The pillars and towers of Gael,

In Ogharn occult their age they bear,

That time can only reveal.

Live on, old monuments of the past,

Our beacons through ages dark!

In primal majesty still you'll last,

Endeared by each Mason mark.




(From The S. A. Masonic journal)


The Three Great Lights will guide our steps

            Through life's uncertain way,

And bring us safe at length to see

 The bright, eternal day.


The Holy Book our fathers read

            With undimmed faith, today

Make clear our sight that we may know

Its precepts to obey.


With square of virtue, try our acts

            And make them meet the test;

There is no other cause that leads

To Islands of the Blest.


Between the lines that represent

            The Longest, shortest day,

Keep circumscribed by compasses

That we go not astray.


The Three Great Lights will guide our steps

            Through life's uncertain way,

And bring us safe at length to see

The bright, eternal day.




By BRO. NEAL A. McCauley

(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, August, 1915)


Build up your life like the temple of old

With stones that are polished and true;

Cement it with love, and adorn it with gold

As all Master builders should do:

Upon a foundation, well chosen and strong,

Build now for the ages to come:

Make use of the good, while rejecting the wrong-

And test all your work with the plumb.



By L. B. M.

(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, March, 1916)


G rander than the lines that Pythagoras drew,

E ngraved on the hearts that ever are true,

O nward and beyond the science it ran, -

M asonry, the nature religion of man.

E nter thy temple, sweet spirit, and there

T ry us by compasses, level and square.

R ightly interpreting our mystical art

Y ou can speculate on with happy heart.


            I AM! I AM!



Are you a Mason? Aye, I am! But stay

The mere profession of its principles,

When unsupported by the daily acts

Of duty it involves, proves false the tale,

And Truth, that attribute divine, the sure

Foundation of Masonic heritage,

Shrinks back appalled at such a mockery,

Which, like the barren fig tree, fair to sight,

Is but the semblance of a fruitful tree.

"Faith without works is dead;"

Profession without practice, dead, also;

A man's a Mason only when he strives

To make his practice quadrate with his creed.

What is a Mason?


Symbol of a race,

Grand and historic, 'neath whose steadfast hands

The mighty fabric of the Temple rose,

Until in beauty and strength it stood

Harmoniously proclaiming, God is great!

Though-at the dictum of the power to whom

'Twas raised -overthrown and crumbled into dust,

With not a fragment left to mark the place,

Or tell the tale of its magnificence;

The art survives, but not alone

In perishable stone.


Through faith in God,

And hope of immortality, we build

A spiritual temple to His name;

Founded on Truth and righteous Charity.

Oh, glorious fellowship! Unshackled by

Mortal interpretation of the word

Vouchsafed by God to man, we seek the Truth

In Love, the refulgent essence of all Truth,

Which is of God alone, and God is Love.

He, then, who takes the compasses in hand

To circumscribe his daily life, will find

The center in that Love to God expressed

In deeds of charity and love to men.




(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, October, 1915)


We build us temples tall and grand,

With gifts we heap our altars high,

Unheeding how, on every hand,

The hungry and the naked cry.

We sound our creeds in trumpet tone,

With zeal we compass land and sea,

Unmindful of the sob and moan

Of souls that yearn for sympathy.

We hurl to hell, we bear above,

With equal ease we loose or bind,

Forgetful quite that God is Love,

And Love is large and broad and kind.

O Thou Eternal Largeness, teach

Our petty, shriveled souls to swell

Till Thou, within their ampler reach,

In every human heart may dwell;

Till Love alone becomes the creed

Of every nation, tribe and clan,

The Fatherhood of God, indeed,

The blessed Brotherhood of Man.




(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, April, 1917)


Does the square that you wear mean the test by your God

Of the work that you do, and the word that you speak,

Of the will of your mind, the thought of your heart,

Of the Past that is gone, of the Future you seek?


The Compasses you wear, does it mean that you move

Within the true bound appointed and sure,

Restricted desire, pleasure defined,

A yielding of self to the bonds that endure?


The Triangle too -great emblem of Him

Who is Maker, and Master, Beginning and End, -

Do you wear it to show that He is to you

The Source and the Aim that all others transcend?


What means the gold trowel that hangs at your chain?

Does it tell of the mortar of Love that you spread?

Of the joint well cement with fine brotherly love?

Of the stones that now lie in the well-mortared bed?


If 'tis not so, then take the poor jewels away;

The meaningless bauble will only deceive

Yourself and the others you meet on your way

As meaningless lies which none ever believe.




(From Masonic Monthly, Philadelphia, Pa., May, 1917)


When back we look upon the darksome way

            From which we traveled with uncertain mind,

The selfsame mystic monsters do we find

Still making dolts their arrogance obey.

Confusing craftiness seeking to dismay

Each forward thought; their mental eyes to blind,

Enthroned deceit yells curses from behind,

And preaches hell to crutch its dying sway.

But when at last the will asserts its force,

And gains release from shackles long endured,

The phantom doubt dissolves in dawning light;

And from on high, where freedom gets its source,

A soul, newborn, of future life assured,

Finds God is love in each Masonic Rite.





The ciders of our ancient art

            Built Temples, high and fair,

And never stone was laid in place

And never column rose in grace,

Untested by the Square.


Our elders left a heritage,

            Up reared in wood and stone,

That we, who follow, might behold

The craft of these, the men of old,

Thus, through their works, made known.


Oh, let us do our work as well,

Though never dome we raise,

With brain untutored, hand unskilled,

A square-set Temple may we build,

Of simple nights and days.


The Square of Virtue for our acts

            Wherewith to set them true,

Can make a building, standing quite

As worthy in our children's sight,

And in the Master's, too.


Thus may we, too, great builders be

As any ancient race;

Our Temple is the square-set mind,

Wherein the Master's Self may find

A fitting dwelling-place.




(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, November, 1915)


My foot to thy foot, however thy foot may stray;

Thy path for my path, however dark the way.


My knee to thy knee, whatever be thy prayer;

Thy plea my plea, in every need and care.


My breast to thy breast, in every doubt or hope;

Thy silence mine too, whatever thy secret's scope.


My strength is thy strength, whenever thou shalt call;

Strong arms stretch love's length, through darkness, toward thy fall!


My words shall follow thee, kindly warning, fond,

Through life, through drear death-and all that lies beyond!




(From The New Age Magazine, Washington, D. C., April, 1915)


A sense of imperfection round me clings;

I hear an inward voice in deep lament:

Through the dark chancel of my soul there rings

A boding chant, with fear and yearning blent.


Thin as a specter's voice in lonely round:

I cannot tell from whence it came-or why,-

It harrows all my thoughts with mournful sound,

Like echoes of a drowning seaman's cry.


The precious pearls of wasted talent thrown

In isolated spots of my life's field:

Its irrecoverable riches sown

As worthless seed that gave a barren yield.


The images of folly, sloth and sin

That flecked with error all my nobler past,

Troop mockingly around with leering grin;

I view with shuddering doubt-I am aghast!





(From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, February, 1916)


Go, work on mind and matter now,

A Master raised to power art thou,

Impress on each and all you can

Wise Heaven's eternal Temple-plan.

As on a trestle-board portray

The great Design, from day to day,

And build, in silence rever'ntly,

The temple of Humanity.



By JOHN H. SHEPPARD, late of Boston, Mass.


Ah, when shall we three meet, like them

Who last were at Jerusalem? For three there were, but one is not, -

He lies where Acacia marks the spot.

Though poor he was, with kings he trod;


Though great, he humbly knelt to God;

Ah, when shall those restore again

The broken link of friendship's chain?


Behold, where mourning beauty bent

In silence o'er his monument,

And widely spread in sorrow there

The ringlets of her flowing hair!

The future Sons of Grief will sigh,

While standing round in mystic tie,

And raise their hands, alas! to

Heaven, In anguish that no hope is given.

From whence we came, or whither go,

Ask me no more, nor seek to know,

Till three shall meet who formed, like them;








I took a brother by the hand; I spoke a word of cheer;

It gave him strength, renewed his hope,

And helped to banish fear.

How passing strange is life, my friend,

For as the years sped by 1, too,

was faced with dark despair And life held but a sigh.

My friend now took me by the hand,

And whispered words of cheer-The same soul-lifting words I spoke

To him, another year.

'Twas then I knew the bread I'd cast,

As in the Scriptures told,

Upon the waters had returned

To bless me now, two-fold!


Poems of Inspiration and Faith




Now that the summer days are past,

The call to Labor comes at last,

And parted brothers, in the Fall,

Assemble for the Lodge roll-call.

Once more the gavel sounds the cue

For friends and brothers, tried and true,

To meet on Level, Plumb and Square –

Their joys and sorrows each to share.

O, brothers of the Mystic Tic,

So many tasks before us lie

Ere war and strife on earth doth cease

And Brotherhood brings joy and peace.

So let us labor-let us strive

To keep our Mason's way alive;

Ours is the duty-ours the right

To help shed darkness, spread the Light!





'Round Thy sacred altar, now,

Do Thy children humbly bow;

Rev'rently they gather there:

Awed and silent in their prayer;

Grateful for Thy blessed Light,

Shining through the darkened night,

Teaching Brotherhood to men

That all strife may cease again,

And, upon this earthly sod,

Men may always turn to God!




Oh, Lord, now this we're thankful for:

The good things life has held in store;

The love of those within our home,

And friends to greet wherever we roam;

The health and strength wherewith to toil,

The bounteous food from freedom's soil;

We thank Thee for the right to pray

And worship Thee in our own way;

To live within a land that's free;

For this, dear Lord, our thanks to Thee;

And through these blessings, one by one,

May Thy will, Lord, on earth be done!




The beggar's hand stretched forth in silent plea:

I turned away, nor did I care to see;

So busy was I with my own affairs,

I gave no thought to other people's cares.

That night I dreamed a vision of the Cross,

And of the Christ whose death was mankind's loss;

His dying lips moved-plainly could I see

"Who gives unto the least, gives unto Me."

Next day I hurried to the public square;

The ragged beggar still stood mutely there.

I gave him coin as quickly by I trod,

Then, turning, recognized the face of God.