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Poems etc


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Toast to No.19
We've toasted the Craft and Office Bearers true,
Grand Lodge and 'the Bairns', visiting brethren too.
There's still one toast more, for we've toasted the Queen,
Here's to Coupar O' Fife; Lodge No.19.
(written by Bro Kev Thompson 24/11/08 )

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Grace (by Robert Burns)
O thou who kindly dost provide
For every creature’s want
We bless thee, God of nature wide,
For all thy goodness lent,
And if it pleases thee heavenly guide,
Many never worse be sent;
But whether granted or denied,
Lord bless us with content.


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Take Time Brother
I see you at the meetings, but you never say Hello.
You’re busy all the time, with men you already know.
I sit amongst the fellows, still I’m a lonely guy.
The new ones sit there with me, while you quickly pass me by.
But Gosh you guys have asked us in, and you talk of fellowship.
You could just step across the room, but you never make the trip.
Why can’t you nod and say hello, or stop and take my hand.
Then go and join your other friends, now that I understand.
I’ll be at your next meeting, on that you can depend.
So won’t you introduce yourself, I want to be your friend
(anon)

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A Mason and a Man

My Brother Masonry means much more
than the wearing of a pin.
Or carrying a paid up dues receipt
so the lodge will let you in.
You may wear an emblem on your coat,
from your finger flash a ring
But if you're not sincere in heart
that doesn't mean a thing:
It is merely an outward sign
to show the world that you belong
to the great fraternal brotherhood
that teaches right from wrong.

What really counts lies buried deep
within the human breast.
Till Masonic teaching brings it out
  and puts it to the test.
If you can practice out of Lodge
  the things you learn within.
Be just and upright to yourself
and   to your fellow men.
Console a Brother when he is sick
or assist him when in need.
Without a thought of personal reward
for any act or deed.
Walk and act in such a way
that the world without can see
That only the best can meet the test
laid down by Masonry.
Be always faithful to your trust
and do the best you can.
Then you can proudly tell the world
You're a Mason and a Man!

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Our Masonic Duty

H. to H. whene'er we meet, Warmly do each other greet,
With words of welcome and of cheer, To help us on our journey here.

F to F. that we should go, When sickness brings a brother woe:
To cheer him on his bed of pain, And nurse him back to health again.

K. to K. where'er we pray, At early morn or close of day.
A brother's name should claim a share, In every thought and every prayer.

B. to B. there still to keep, A brother's secret hidden deep:
To all the world but us unknown, And hold them sacred as our own.

H. to B. with firmest grasp, Encircling arms and friendly clasp:
We should be found at duty's call, To stay a brother's tottering fall.

M. to E. whe'er we find, To err a brother is inclined.
We'll counsel give in gentlest tone, And breathe it in his ear alone.

Then F. to F. and K. to K., True brothers we should ever be:
With H. to B. and B. to B., Each striving still to do his best:
We'll whisper words of hope and cheer, With H. to B. and M. to E.
(contributed by Bro John Inch)

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The Level and the Square
adapted from the poem by Rob Morris 1854
(This is used as part of our Fellow Craft Degree Ritual)

We meet upon the level and we part upon the square
What words of precious meaning those words masonic are
Come let us contemplate them, they are worthy of a thought
From the very soul of Masonry those precious words are wrought.

We meet upon the level, and from every station come
The rich man from his mansion, the poor man from his home
But the rich man leaves his wealth and state outside the mason's door
And the poor man is his equal when they walk the checkered floor.

We act upon the Plumb 'tis our master's great command
To walk upright in virtue's way and lean to neither hand
The All-seeing Eye that reads our hearts will bear us witness true
That we shall try to know our God and give each man his due.

We part upon the square for the world must have its due
To mingle with the multitude but keep our secrets true
But the influence of our gathering in memory is green
And we long upon the level to renew the happy scene.

There's a world where all are equal we're heading towards it fast
We shall meet upon the level there when the gates of death are past
We shall stand before the Orient, our Master will be there
Our works to try, our lives to prove with God's unerring square

We shall meet upon the level there and never more to part
There's a Mansion - ‘tis all ready for each trusting, faithful heart
There's a Mansion and a welcome from the brethren waiting there
Who have met upon the level and been tried upon the square.

Let us meet upon the level then while labouring patient here
Let us meet and let us labour, though the labour be severe
Already in the Western sky, the signs bid us prepare
To gather up our working tools and part upon the square.

So hands round brother masons, form that fraternal chain
We part upon the square below to meet in heaven again
All ties that have been broken shall be cemented there,
None shall be lost around God's throne, that parted on the square .

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DO IT NOW
adapted from Berton Braley

If with pleasure you are viewing any work a brother's doing,
If you like him or you love him, tell him now;
Don't withhold your approbation till the parson makes oration
And he lies with snowy lilies on his brow;

No matter how you shout it he won't really care about it;
He won't know how many teardrops you have shed;
If you think some praise is due him now's the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead.

More than fame and more then money is the comment kind and sunny
And the hearty, warm approval of a friend.
For it gives to life a savour, and it makes you stronger, braver,
And it gives you heart and spirit to the end;

If he earns your praise - bestow it; if you like him let him know it;
Let the words of true encouragement be said;
Do not wait till life is over and he's underneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead.

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The Faithful Few
(anon)

When the meeting's called to order, and you look around the room;
You're sure to see some faces, that from out the shadows loom,
That are always at the meeting and stay till it is through.
The ones that I would mention, are the Always Faithful Few.

They fill the vacant offices, as they are always on the spot.
No matter what the weather, though it may be awful hot;
It may be dark and rainy, but they are tried and true;
The ones that you rely on are the Always Faithful Few.

There's lots of worthy members, who will come when in the mood;
When everything's convenient, they can do a little good;
They're a factor in the order, and necessary too,
But the ones who never fail us are the Always Faithful Few.

If it were not for these faithful, whose shoulders at the wheel,
Keep the order moving onward, without a halt or reel;
What woud be the fate of Orders, who have so much to do,
They surely would go under, but for the Faithful Few.

(contributed by RWM Tom Marshall )

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THE WHITE LEATHER APRON
by D. W. Clements
(contributed by RWM Tom Marshall )

The white leather apron is more ancient by far
Then the eagles of Rome, a symbol of war,
Or the fleece of pure gold, by emperors given,
A rich decoration for which many have striven.
The Garter of England, an Order most rare,
Although highly prized, cannot with it compare;
It is an emblem of innocence, symbolled in white,
And purity ever brings the greatest delight;
With pure thoughts and actions, how happy the life,
How care-free the conscience, unclouded by strife!

No Potentate ever can upon us bestow
An honor so great as this apron doth show;
No king on his throne in his highest estate
Can give us an emblem so cherished or great;
'Tis the Badge of a Mason, more noble to wear
Than the gold of the mine, or the diamond most rare.
So here's to the lambskin, the apron of white,
That lifts up all equals and all doth unite,
In the Order so ancient that man can not say
When its teachings began or name its birthday.

Since its birth, nations young have gone to their tomb,
And cities once great turned to ashes and gloom;
Earth's greatest achievements have long passed away,
And peoples have risen and gone to decay.
Outliving all these, never changing with time,
Are the principles taught in our Order sublime.
And now, my good brother, this apron's for you,
May you worthily wear it and ever be true
To the vows you have made, to the lessons most grand;
For these, home and country, we ever will stand.

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I Was Soon To Discover
(anon)

I thought to myself, as my hands touched the door,
What in the world am I doing this for?
Dressed as I never expected to be,
Were they going to play some fools game with me?

I stood there a moment, when I heard the command,
You must knock on the door with your own hand.
The door opened slightly, I thought to go in,
But to my surprise, there were questions again.

I knew not the answers, but luck was with me,
My guide seemed to know what the answers should be!
When the door finally opened, and I was led in,
I said to myself..........It's about to begin!

When they start to laugh, I'll hold my head high,
I'll not step back, no matter what the outcry!
As I walked on in, I could feel their eyes,
But I heard no laughter......I heard no outcries.

They seemed to be following some sort of skit,
I wasn't quite sure how all of it fit.
My apprehensions were eased, my fears were no more,
It was not as I imagined from without the door.

As I was soon to discover, it was a most solemn event,
Instruction and guidance were their only intent.
When it was all over I knew one thing for sure,
I would never regret..... that first knock on the door.

(contributed by Bro. Kev Thompson)

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The Cork Degree

You may climb the Mason's Ladder till you reach the highest point
And in toiling slowly upwards rack yourself in every joint
But I venture to inform you - if you've reached to thirty-three
The best of all the bunch is what is called the Cork Degree.

You ask me what it means? Well, Sirs, it means just what it says
You can booze yourself to blazes through a hundred happy days
You may stop your dinner or your tea and sell your knife and fork
But you mus'nt venture out of doors without your Mason's Cork.

It's a circle and the centre that it holds is Fellowship
There are many signs and tokens which you may well give the slip
So long as you do not forget that the Cork, to have its due,
Must have safely in its centre what it seldom lacks - a screw.

For that means the bottle's open, and the drinks are going round
And the Corkites are delighted with the whiskeys gurgling sound
As it cluck clucks in Friendship's name and flows right merrily
And thus maintains the glories of the Almighty Cork Degree.

Then when heads are getting muzzy and when eyes are getting faint
And you're free to fight you're damndest with a devil or a Saint
If some kindly Christain Soul enquires how many moons you see
You may bet your empty tumbler he's got the Cork Degree.
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Working Tools of an E-Mason

Dear e-Brethren:

I now present to you the working tools of an E-Mason. They are the mouse...the keyboard... and the modem...

mouse

The mouse is an instrument used by operative E-Masons to move within the desktop, the keyboard to input the data, and the modem to publish the data to cyberspace.

But as we are not, however, here assembled as Computer Nerds, but rather as Speculative E-Masons, and to us these tools are downloaded as vehicles of moral significance and to show us the meaning of E-Masons.

The mouse teaches us to keep within the bounds of the screen - a square wherein which we must all meet.

keyboard

The Keyboard is to show us that communication will lead us to a better understanding of each other, and the rest of mankind.

modem

And the Modem to teach us that even when we are alone on the most remote part of the globe, we may meet and gain moral sustainance from each other, and thus learn more of the wonderful works of the GAOTU.

Author Unknown.

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The next few poems are from the pen of Bro. Robert Burns :


Bro. Rbt Burns 1759-1796

The Craft played a large part in his life and in his subsequent success as a poet and songster. His Masonic career is summarised here:

St David’s Lodge No 174 Tarbolton: 1781 (age 22)
EA 4/07/1781     FC 1/10/1781    MM Oct 1781
St James’s Kilwinning: 1782: Depute Master from 1784-88
St John's Kilwinning, Kilmarnock, on 26th October 1786: Honorary
St Ebbe Eyemouth: Royal Arch & Knight’s Templar, 18th May 1787
Lodge St Andrew, Dumfries, No. 179: 1789
 

 

Ye Sons of Auld Killie (Masonic Song) (1786)
Written to celebrate his admission as an honorary member of Lodge St John, Kilwinning 26/10/1786
Tune: O'er the Water to Charlie

Ye Sons of Auld Killie, assembled by Willie,
To follow the noble vocation;
Your thrifty old mother has scarce such another,
To sit in that honoured station.
I've little to say, but only to pray,
As praying's the ton of your fashion;
A prayer from the muse, you may well excuse,
"Tis seldom her favourite passion.

Ye powers who preside, o'er the wind and the tide,
Who mark each element's border;
Who formed this frame with beneficent aim,
Whose sovereign statute is order;
Within this dear mansion may wayward contention,
Or withered envy ne'er enter;
May secrecy round be the mystical bound,
And Brotherly Love be the center.

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Adieu (1786)
Written as a farewell when Burns still had his heart set on Jamaica
Tune: The Parting Glass

Adieu! a heart-warm, fond adieu
Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favour'd, ye enlighten'd few,
Companions of my social joy!
Tho' I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing Fortune's slidd'ry ba',
With melting heart, and brimful eye,
I'll mind you still, tho' far awa'.

Oft have I met your social band,
And spent the cheerful festive night;
Oft honour'd with supreme command,
Presided o'er the sons of light;
And by that hieroglyphic bright,
Which none but craftsmen ever saw!
Strong mem'ry on my heart shall write
Those happy scenes when far awa'.

May freedom, harmony and love,
Unite you in the grand design,
Beneath th'omniscient eye above,
The glorious architect divine!
That you may keep th'unerring line,
Still rising by the plummet's law,
Till order bright completely shine,
Shall be my prayer when far awa'.

And you, farewell! whose merits claim,
Justly that highest badge to wear!
Heav'n bless your honour'd, noble name,
To masonry and Scotia dear!
A last request, permit me here,
When yearly ye assemble a',
One round, I ask it with a tear,
To him, the bard that's far awa' !

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The Master's Apron (1786)

There's mony a badge that's unco braw;
Wi' ribbon, lace and tape on;
Let kings an' princes wear them a'
Gie me the Master's apron!

The honest craftsman's apron,
The jolly Freemason's apron,
Be he at hame, or roam afar,
Before his touch fa's bolt and bar,
The gates of fortune fly ajar,
`Gin he but wears the apron!

For wealth and honor, pride and power
Are crumbling stanes to base on;
Eternity suld rule the hour,
And ilka worthy Mason!
Each Free Accepted Mason,
Each Ancient Crafted Mason.

Then, brithers, let a halesome sang
Arise your friendly ranks alang!
Guidwives and bairnies blithely sing
To the ancient badge wi' the apron string
That is worn by the Master Mason!

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No Churchman am I (1783)
Tune: Prepare My Dear Brethren

No churchman am I for to rail and to write,
No statesman nor soldier to plot or to fight,
No sly man of business contriving a snare,
For a big-belly'd bottle's the whole of my care.

The peer I don't envy, I give him his bow;
I scorn not the peasant, tho' ever so low;
But a club of good fellows, like those that are here,
And a bottle like this, are my glory and care.

Here passes the squire on his brother - his horse,
There centum per centum, the cit with the purse,
But see you The Crown, how it waves in the air?
There a big-belly'd bottle still eases my care.

The wife of my bosom, alas! she did die;
For sweet consolation to church I did fly;
I found that old Solomon proved it fair,
That a big-belly'd bottle's a cure for all care.

I once was persuaded a venture to make;
A letter inform'd me that all was to wreck;
But the pursy old landlord just waddled up stairs,
With a glorious bottle that ended my cares.

'Life's cares they are comforts', a maxim laid down
By the Bard, what d'ye call him? that wore the
black gown;
And faith I agree with th' old prig to a hair:
For a big-belly'd bottle's a heav'n of a care.

A STANZA ADDED IN A MASON LODGE

Then fill up a bumper and make it o'erflow,
And honours Masonic prepare for to throw:
May ev'ry true Brother of the Compass and Square
Have a big-belly'd bottle, when harass'd with care .

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Extract from Epistle to J. Lapraik 1785

But ye whom social pleasure charms,
Whose hearts the tide of kindness warms,
Who hold your being on the terms,
'Each aid the others,'
Come to my bowl, come to my arms,
My friends, my brothers

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