The Level and The Square

The Level and The Square
by Rob Morris

This poem, written in August 1854, is the most popular of the series. Fifteen Musical compositions have been set to it, and either as song or declamation it has gone the rounds of the Masonic world.

We meet upon the level and we part upon the square
These words have precious meaning and are practiced everywhere
Come let us contemplate them, they are worthy of a thought
From the ancient times of Masonry these symbols have been taught
We meet upon the level, every country, sect and creed
The rich man from his mansion, the poor man from the field
For wealth is not considered within our outer door
And we all meet on the level upon the checkered floor.

We act upon the Plumb the Junior Warden states
We walk upright throughout our lives, we seek the pearly gates
The All-seeing Eye that reads our hearts doth bear us witness true
That we shall try to honor God and give each man his due
We part upon the square as all good Masons do
We mingle with the multitude a faithful band and true
So the brotherhood of Masonry from every corner come
To meet upon the level and act upon the plumb.

There’s a world where all are equal we’re coming to it fast
We shall meet upon the level there when the days on earth are past
We shall stand before the altar and our Master will be there
To try the blocks we offer with his own unerring square
We shall meet upon the level there but never thence depart
There’s a Mansion—‘tis all ready for each trusting, faithful heart
There’s a Mansion and a welcome and a multitude is there
Who have met upon the level and been tried upon the square.

Let us meet upon the level then while these earthly ties we share
And just hope we’re there to answer when the roll is called up there
As we travel through our lifespan time aids us prepare
To gather up our working tools and part upon the square
So remember all our teachings, that bright fraternal chain
We part upon the square below to meet in heaven again
These words have precious meaning and are practiced everywhere
We meet upon the level and we part upon the square.

http://www.themasonictrowel.com/Poetry/poems_rob_morris/the_level_and_the_square.htm




The Listeners, by Walter de la Mare

The Listeners, by Walter de la Mare

Direct link to the website http://www.phoenixstjohn.com/2015/11/22/the-listeners-by-walter-de-la-mare/

The Listeners

post
BY WALTER DE LA MARE

jerusalem cross

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.

Templar cross
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.

post
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.

Templar cross
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.




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Masonic Poems

357 Listed
The Past Master My Religion The Work The Palace The Thousandth Man Mind of God Adieu, A Heart-Warm, Fond Adieu When Are You A Mason? What Makes A Mason? We are Two Brothers The True Mason The Temple The Temple – What Makes it of Worth Secretary’s Note The Royal Art The Road No Time For God Let us Honor George Washington Labor Just a Little Lodge Room I Am How Good and How Pleasant Hands Across the Sea Good Fellowship The Goddess of Masonry Father’s Lodge Charity Challenges for the True Mason Building Brothers All Brotherhood The Brethren Are You A Man? Always a Mason Grandpa’s Wooden Chest A Master Mason’s Wife The Lamb Skin In The Glorious Hour of Dawning I See You’ve Traveled Some Let’s Go To Lodge Tonight! My New-Cut Ashlar Tell Him Now! The Lodge where I belong Perhaps He’s dead Wilfrid The White Lamb Skin Apron My Creed A Masonic Smile The Model Mason Masonic Jewels Masonic Light The Square The Working Tools The Lodge Altar Masonic Training Man-Making The Life Structure The Level and the Square Light Fraternity By The Work You Did Today The First Line Ten Master Masons I Knelt Where Hiram Knelt Remember You’re A Mason Am I A Builder? We Meet on the Level The Plumb Bread Upon The Waters Masonic Light The Toast to the Visitors Take My Hand Follow Me Masonic Membership Card The Trowel Our Worshipful Brother George Washington The Master’s Last Prayer The Pot of Gold If You Are,You Will My Brother Be Fraternally Yours A Freemason’s Prayer A Night, When Brotherhood ′Came Real The Beacon Light Brotherhood The Building of Temples The Emblems of the Craft Every Year The Five Points Symbolism Freemason′s March Funeral Dirge The Hidden Meaning 6:30 Degree I am Freemasonry I Sat In Lodge With You Jubal and Tubal Cain The Lambskin Apron Let There Be Light! The Lodge Room Over Simpkin’s Store Masonic Song The Mason’s Pledge The Master’s Apron The Mother-Lodge
My Ballot O, Mother Lodge We’ve Wandered Far Old Tubal Cain Our Masonic Duty The Ship of Life on the Ocean of Time Wearing the Emblems What Came We Here To Do? Where Has Freedom Gone? Who is a Mason? Lodge Welcome to Ladies
Banquet Night Masonic Sermon If The Real Freemasonry Spring Cleaning Is it Masonry An Old Masonic Toast Mason Marks The Three Great Lights Acrostic I am! I am! In Fellowship Ah, When Shall We Three Fall Reunion THE LODGE FOCUS The Square Perfect Ashlars. The Working Tools The Apron Gavel Song The Level The Trowel The Public Grand Honors The Pillars of the Porch The Mason’s Pledge The Sacred Cord, Thrice Wound Strong Foundation The Tessera The Door of the Heart Beautiful Stone of the Masonic Arch The Checkered Pavement The Corner Stone The Grand Hailing Sign Letter G Quarry The Perfect Brick Quarry, Hill and Temple True Cornerstone Corn, Wine, Oil The Hour Glass Oh Cedar Tree Ear of Corn Foundation Stone The Veterans’ Gathering Gavel Setting a Memorial Shoe The Green Sprig Ono The Master Cometh Last Words of the Builder King The East Lingering Notes King Solomon’s Farewell The Invisible Workmen The Visit of King Solomon Sowing of the Seed The Three Knocks Verdant, Fragrant, Enduring The Wise Choice of Solomon Hard Service, Good Wages The Temple Hours of Praise The Reddening in the East The Self-examination Not Brought to Light Oh, Pity, Lord The Drunkard’s Grave The Veteran Master The Spirit of Union To the Secretary The Pursuit of Franklin Inscriptions for a Lodge Room Go on Thy Bright Career Prayer — Oral or Secret The Death of the Grand Master The Pyramid of Cheops The Dying Request Fragrance of a Good Deed The Obedient Disciple Pleasant Memories The Inheritance of Friendship The Narrow Boundary Language of Freemasonry The Veteran’s Lament Yearnings To the Doubting The Prayer of Daniel A Welcome into Masonry The Decayed Lodge Fredstole: The Seat of Peace Heimskringla The Representative of Solomon Appreciation Fellowcraft’s Song The Master of the Upright Heart The Greatest of These Exhortation to Charity Hail to the Pen A Hebrew Chant That Vapor, Life The Visitor’s Welcome Being Dead, Yet Living Burns’ Farewell Why Have They Left Us? The Duelist The Strait and Narrow Way The Old Tyler Holy Land Specimens Nunc Dimittis The Celestial Record A Response of Gratitude The Teacher to His Pupils Timely Warning Ask! Seek!! Knock!!! The Last, Last Word, Fare Well. Earnestness of Covenanting So Mote It Be The Chamber of Imagery The Three Salutes White-aproned Brothers All-seeing Eye Tom Biggs’ Bottom Dollar The Olive Door A Bag of Tools A Broken Ashlar A Brother’s Hand A Destiny A Freemason’s Prayer A Mason A Mason’s Pledge A Mason’s Wife A Pilgrim’s Way A Masonic Song A Real District Deputy A Real Mason A Torch of Light Acrostic – George Washington Address to a Haggis All-seeing Eye Best Wishes Brother Brothers, We Remember Brotherhood Builder’s All Do We Meet Him on the Level? Do You Just Belong? Echoes Fall In Fellowship For Men Must Brothers Be Fraternity Freemasons How Shall i Honor Masonry? I’m Ready for My Last Degree I’d Rather Watch a Winner I Stood Before In the East Initiation Labor Knife and Fork Degree Let George Do It Light Making Friends Masonic Emblem Masonic Rings Masonry My Cornerstone No Matter What Continue Brother Old Master’s Words to the Young Mason On the Common On the Square On Yonder Book Origins of Freemasonry Raising Recovery Shrine Hospitals The 34th Degree The Aged Mason The Anvil The Apron Strings The Builder The Candidate The Clock of Life The Compass on the Square The Craft The Deserter, a Masonic Tale The Door The Final Toast The Letter G The Light in the Temple The Living Temple The Lodge Far Away The Mason’s Duty The Master Builder The Mystic Art The Past Master’s Job The Ragged Old Flag The Reply The Ritual The Rusty Mason The Sea Captain The Square Shooter’s Plea The Struggle for Freedom The Sword and Trowel The Structure of the Lodge The Tabernacle The Top Hat The Tresleboard The Trowel The Way It Otta-be The White Leather Apron The Word The Work Divine They All Came Just for Me Three Candles To a Brother Tools of the Craft: The Compass Tribute to a Mason Trowel Utopia Found? What of Your Masonry When Father Rode the Goat When i Raised My Son When is a Man a Mason? Why Did You Knock Every Year The Compass Of His Attainments What is a Mason ? The Festive Board Fifty Year Jewel Presentation The Grand Officer Hamlet The Ladies Toast Progress in The Craft Rainbow Girls THE BEGINNING(Rosicruscian) The Nine O’Clock Toast Nimrod and Solomon Did I help or hurt today Lord The Masters Song Moral Truth and Virtue (Level 1) Not Guilty The Token Darkness Visible The Honours System




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THE LAMBSKIN by Edgar A. Guest

THE LAMBSKIN
Poem by 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 possessions, 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.




“If” Poem by Rudyard Kipling




CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE WORKHOUSE

This time of year i like to send a reminder about what I think Christmas should be about. Sometimes a dark warning does the job better that I ever could, so just so we think about the real side of life, please take the time to read.
CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE WORKHOUSE
(A Poem by George R. Sims, 1847-1922)
It is Christmas Day in the workhouse,
And the cold, bare walls are bright
With garlands of green and holly,
Ad the place is a pleasant sight;
For with clean-washed hands and faces,
In a long and hungry line
The paupers sit at the table,
For this is the hour they dine.
And the guardians and their ladies,
Although the wind is east,
Have come in their furs and wrappers,
To watch their charges feast;
To smile and be condescending,
Put pudding on pauper plates.
To be hosts at the workhouse banquet
They’ve paid for — with the rates.
Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly
With their “Thank’ee kindly, mum’s!'”
So long as they fill their stomachs,
What matter it whence it comes!
But one of the old men mutters,
And pushes his plate aside:
“Great God!” he cries, “but it chokes me!
For this is the day she died!”
The guardians gazed in horror,
The master’s face went white;
“Did a pauper refuse the pudding?”
“Could their ears believe aright?”
Then the ladies clutched their husbands,
Thinking the man would die,
Struck by a bolt, or something,
By the outraged One on high.
But the pauper sat for a moment,
Then rose ‘mid silence grim,
For the others had ceased to chatter
And trembled in every limb.
He looked at the guardians’ ladies,
Then, eyeing their lords, he said,
“I eat not the food of villains
Whose hands are foul and red:
“Whose victims cry for vengeance
From their dark, unhallowed graves.”
“He’s drunk!” said the workhouse master,
“Or else he’s mad and raves.”
“Not drunk or mad,” cried the pauper,
“But only a haunted beast,
Who, torn by the hounds and mangled,
Declines the vulture’s feast.
“I care not a curse for the guardians,
And I won’t be dragged away;
Just let me have the fit out,
It’s only on Christmas Day
That the black past comes to goad me,
And prey on my burning brain;
I’ll tell you the rest in a whisper —
I swear I won’t shout again.
“Keep your hands off me, curse you!
Hear me right out to the end.
You come here to see how paupers
The season of Christmas spend;.
You come here to watch us feeding,
As they watched the captured beast.
Here’s why a penniless pauper
Spits on your paltry feast.
“Do you think I will take your bounty,
And let you smile and think
You’re doing a noble action
With the parish’s meat and drink?
Where is my wife, you traitors —
The poor old wife you slew?
Yes, by the God above me,
My Nance was killed by you!
‘Last winter my wife lay dying,
Starved in a filthy den;
I had never been to the parish —
I came to the parish then.
I swallowed my pride in coming,
For ere the ruin came,
I held up my head as a trader,
And I bore a spotless name.
“I came to the parish, craving
Bread for a starving wife,
Bread for the woman who’d loved me
Through fifty years of life;
And what do you think they told me,
Mocking my awful grief,
That ‘the House’ was open to us,
But they wouldn’t give ‘out relief’.
“I slunk to the filthy alley —
‘Twas a cold, raw Christmas Eve —
And the bakers’ shops were open,
Tempting a man to thieve;
But I clenched my fists together,
Holding my head awry,
So I came to her empty-handed
And mournfully told her why.
“Then I told her the house was open;
She had heard of the ways of that,
For her bloodless cheeks went crimson,
and up in her rags she sat,
Crying, ‘Bide the Christmas here, John,
We’ve never had one apart;
I think I can bear the hunger —
The other would break my heart.’
“All through that eve I watched her,
Holding her hand in mine,
Praying the Lord and weeping,
Till my lips were salt as brine;
I asked her once if she hungered,
And as she answered ‘No’ ,
T’he moon shone in at the window,
Set in a wreath of snow.
“Then the room was bathed in glory,
And I saw in my darling’s eyes
The faraway look of wonder
That comes when the spirit flies;
And her lips were parched and parted,
And her reason came and went.
For she raved of our home in Devon,
Where our happiest years were spent.
“And the accents, long forgotten,
Came back to the tongue once more.
For she talked like the country lassie
I woo’d by the Devon shore;
Then she rose to her feet and trembled,
And fell on the rags and moaned,
And, ‘Give me a crust — I’m famished —
For the love of God!’ she groaned.
“I rushed from the room like a madman
And flew to the workhouse gate,
Crying, ‘Food for a dying woman!’
And the answer came, ‘Too late.’
They drove me away with curses;
Then I fought with a dog in the street
And tore from the mongrel’s clutches
A crust he was trying to eat.
“Back through the filthy byways!
Back through the trampled slush!
Up to the crazy garret,
Wrapped in an awful hush;
My heart sank down at the threshold,
And I paused with a sudden thrill.
For there, in the silv’ry moonlight,
My Nance lay, cold and still.
“Up to the blackened ceiling,
The sunken eyes were cast —
I knew on those lips, all bloodless,
My name had been the last;
She called for her absent husband —
O God! had I but known! —
Had called in vain, and, in anguish,
Had died in that den — alone.
“Yes, there, in a land of plenty,
Lay a loving woman dead,
Cruelly starved and murdered
for a loaf of the parish bread;
At yonder gate, last Christmas,
I craved for a human life,
You, who would feed us paupers,
What of my murdered wife!”
‘There, get ye gone to your dinners,
Don’t mind me in the least,
Think of the happy paupers
Eating your Christmas feast;
And when you recount their blessings
In your smug parochial way,
Say what you did for me, too,
Only last Christmas Day.”

This time of year i like to send a reminder about what i think Christmas should be about. Sometimes a dark warning does the job better that I ever could, so just so we think about the real side of life, please take the time to read.
CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE WORKHOUSE(A Poem by George R. Sims, 1847-1922)

It is Christmas Day in the workhouse, And the cold, bare walls are bright With garlands of green and holly, Ad the place is a pleasant sight; For with clean-washed hands and faces, In a long and hungry line The paupers sit at the table, For this is the hour they dine.
And the guardians and their ladies, Although the wind is east, Have come in their furs and wrappers, To watch their charges feast; To smile and be condescending, Put pudding on pauper plates. To be hosts at the workhouse banquet They’ve paid for — with the rates.
Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly With their “Thank’ee kindly, mum’s!'”So long as they fill their stomachs, What matter it whence it comes! But one of the old men mutters, And pushes his plate aside: “Great God!” he cries, “but it chokes me! For this is the day she died!”
The guardians gazed in horror, The master’s face went white; “Did a pauper refuse the pudding?” “Could their ears believe aright?” Then the ladies clutched their husbands, Thinking the man would die, Struck by a bolt, or something, By the outraged One on high.
But the pauper sat for a moment, Then rose ‘mid silence grim, For the others had ceased to chatter And trembled in every limb. He looked at the guardians’ ladies, Then, eyeing their lords, he said, “I eat not the food of villains Whose hands are foul and red:
“Whose victims cry for vengeance From their dark, unhallowed graves.” “He’s drunk!” said the workhouse master, “Or else he’s mad and raves.” “Not drunk or mad,” cried the pauper, “But only a haunted beast, Who, torn by the hounds and mangled, Declines the vulture’s feast.
“I care not a curse for the guardians, And I won’t be dragged away; Just let me have the fit out, It’s only on Christmas Day That the black past comes to goad me, And prey on my burning brain; I’ll tell you the rest in a whisper — I swear I won’t shout again.
“Keep your hands off me, curse you! Hear me right out to the end. You come here to see how paupers The season of Christmas spend;. You come here to watch us feeding, As they watched the captured beast. Here’s why a penniless pauper Spits on your paltry feast.
“Do you think I will take your bounty, And let you smile and think You’re doing a noble action With the parish’s meat and drink? Where is my wife, you traitors — The poor old wife you slew? Yes, by the God above me, My Nance was killed by you!
‘Last winter my wife lay dying, Starved in a filthy den; I had never been to the parish — I came to the parish then. I swallowed my pride in coming, For ere the ruin came, I held up my head as a trader, And I bore a spotless name.
“I came to the parish, craving Bread for a starving wife, Bread for the woman who’d loved me Through fifty years of life; And what do you think they told me, Mocking my awful grief, That ‘the House’ was open to us, But they wouldn’t give ‘out relief’.
“I slunk to the filthy alley — ‘Twas a cold, raw Christmas Eve — And the bakers’ shops were open, Tempting a man to thieve; But I clenched my fists together, Holding my head awry, So I came to her empty-handed And mournfully told her why.
“Then I told her the house was open; She had heard of the ways of that, For her bloodless cheeks went crimson, and up in her rags she sat, Crying, ‘Bide the Christmas here, John, We’ve never had one apart; I think I can bear the hunger — The other would break my heart.’
“All through that eve I watched her, Holding her hand in mine, Praying the Lord and weeping, Till my lips were salt as brine; I asked her once if she hungered, And as she answered ‘No’ , T’he moon shone in at the window, Set in a wreath of snow.
“Then the room was bathed in glory, And I saw in my darling’s eyes The faraway look of wonder That comes when the spirit flies; And her lips were parched and parted, And her reason came and went. For she raved of our home in Devon, Where our happiest years were spent.
“And the accents, long forgotten, Came back to the tongue once more. For she talked like the country lassie I woo’d by the Devon shore; Then she rose to her feet and trembled, And fell on the rags and moaned, And, ‘Give me a crust — I’m famished — For the love of God!’ she groaned.
“I rushed from the room like a madman And flew to the workhouse gate, Crying, ‘Food for a dying woman!’ And the answer came, ‘Too late.’ They drove me away with curses; Then I fought with a dog in the street And tore from the mongrel’s clutches A crust he was trying to eat.
“Back through the filthy byways! Back through the trampled slush! Up to the crazy garret, Wrapped in an awful hush; My heart sank down at the threshold, And I paused with a sudden thrill. For there, in the silv’ry moonlight, My Nance lay, cold and still.
“Up to the blackened ceiling, The sunken eyes were cast — I knew on those lips, all bloodless, My name had been the last; She called for her absent husband — O God! had I but known! — Had called in vain, and, in anguish, Had died in that den — alone.
“Yes, there, in a land of plenty, Lay a loving woman dead, Cruelly starved and murdered for a loaf of the parish bread; At yonder gate, last Christmas, I craved for a human life, You, who would feed us paupers, What of my murdered wife!”
‘There, get ye gone to your dinners, Don’t mind me in the least, Think of the happy paupers Eating your Christmas feast; And when you recount their blessings In your smug parochial way, Say what you did for me, too, Only last Christmas Day.”