Brother, hearken, while I tell you
What we Masons pledged to do
When, prepared at yonder altar
We assumed the Mason's vow
Foot and knee, breast, hand and cheek
Hearken while I make them speak

Foot to foot, on mercy's errand
When we hear a brother's cry
Hungry, thirsty, barefoot, naked
With God's mercy let us fly
This of all our thoughts the chief
How to give him quick relief

Knee to knee, in earnest praying
None but God to hear or heed
All our woes and sins confessing
Let us for each other plead
By the spirit of our call
Let us pray for brothers all

Breast to breast, in sacred casket
At life's center let us seal
Every truth to us entrusted
Nor one holy thing reveal
What a Mason vows to shield
Let him die, but never yield

Hand to back, a brother's falling
Look, his burdens are too great
Stretch the generous hand and hold him
Up before it is too late
The right arm's a friendly prop
Made to hold a brother up

Cheek to cheek, in timely whisper
When the temper strives to win
Urge the brother's bounden duty
Show him the approaching sin
Point to him the deadly snare
Save him with a brother's care

Brother Rob Morris





Joyful task it is, dear brothers
Thus to take upon the lip
With full heart, and fitting gesture
All our points of fellowship
Foot and knee, breast, hand, and cheek
Each a measured part shall speak

Speak of answering mercy's call
Speak of prayer for Masons all
Speak of keeping secrets duly
Speak of stretching strong hand truly
Speak of whispering the unruly

Foot to foot: 'tis mercy's mandate
When is heard the plaintive sigh
Hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked
On the wings of aid to fly
Hasten, mitigate the grief
Hasten, bear him quick relief

Quick with bread to feed the hungry
Quick with raiment for the naked
Quick with shelter for the homeless
Quick with heart's deep sympathy

Knee to knee: in silence praying
Lord, give listening ear this day
Every earthly stain confessing
For all tempted Masons pray
Perish envy, perish hate
For all Masons supplicate

Bless them, Lord upon the ocean
Bless them perishing in the desert
Bless them falling 'neath temptation
Bless them when about to die

Brother Rob Morris





When I was a King and a Mason,
a Master Proven and skilled,
I cleared me ground for a Palace,
such as a King should build.

I decreed and dug down to my levels;
presently, under the silt,
I came on the wreck of a Palace,
such as a King had built.

There was no worth in the fashion;
there was no wit in the plan;
Hither and thither, aimless,
the ruined footings ran.

Masonry, brute, mishandled,
but carven on every stone,
"After me cometh a Builder;
tell him I, too, have known."

Swift to my use in my trenches,
where my well-planned ground works grew,
I tumbled his quoins and his ashlars,
and cut and rest them anew.

Lime I milled of his marbles;
burned it, slaked it, and spread;
Taking and leaving at pleasure,
the gifts of the humble dead.

Yet I despised not nor gloried, yet,
as we wrenched them apart,
I read in the razed foundation
the heart of that Builder's heart.

As he has risen and pleaded,
so did I understand,
The form of the dream he had followed,
in the face of the thing he had planned.

When I was a King and a Mason,
in the open noon of my pride,
They sent me a Word from the Darkness;
they whispered and called me aside.

They said, "The end is forbidden."
They said, "Thy use is fulfilled.
Thy Palace shall stand as that other's,
the spoil of a King who shall build."

I called my men from my trenches,
my quarries, my wharves, and my sheers;
All I had wrought I abandoned,
to the faith of the faithless years.

Only I cut on the timber;
only I carved on the stone:
"After me cometh a Builder;
tell him I, too, have known."

Brother Rudyard Kipling






"Once in so often," King Solomon said,
Watching his quarrymen drill the stone,
"We will curb our garlic and wine and bread
And banquet together beneath my Throne,
And all Brethren shall come to that mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

"Send a swift shallop to Hiram of Tyre,
Felling and floating our beautiful trees,
Say that the Brethren and I desire
Talk with our Brethren who use the seas.
And we shall be happy to meet them at mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

"Carry this message to Hiram Abif-
Excellent master of forge and mine :-
I and the Brethren would like it if
He and the Brethren will come to dine
(Garments from Bozrah or morning-dress)
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

"God gave the Cedar their place-
Also the Bramble, the Fig and the Thorn-
But that is no reason to black a man's face
Because he is not what he hasn't been born.
And, as touching the Temple, I hold and profess
We are Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

So it was ordered and so it was done,
And the hewers of wood and the Masons of Mark,
With foc'sle hands of Sidon run
And Navy Lords from the ROYAL ARK,
Came and sat down and were merry at mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less.

The Quarries are hotter than Hiram's forge,
No one is safe from the dog-whip's reach.
It's mostly snowing up Lebanon gorge,
And it's always blowing off Joppa beach;

But once in so often, the messenger brings
Solomon's mandate : "Forget these things!
Brother to Beggars and Fellow to Kings,

Companion of Princes-forget these things!
Fellow-Craftsmen, forget these things!"

Brother Rudyard Kipling





My New-Cut ashlar takes the light
Where crimson-blank the windows flare.
By my own work before the night,
Great Overseer, I make my prayer.

If there be good in that I wrought
Thy Hand compelled it, Master, Thine--
Where I have failed to meet Thy Thought
I know, through Thee, the blame was mine.

The depth and dream of my desire,
The bitter paths wherein I stray--
Thou knowest Who hast made the Fire,
Thou knowest Who hast made the Clay.

Who, lest all thought of Eden fade,
Bring'st Eden to the craftsman's brain--
Godlike to muse o'er his own Trade
And manlike stand with God again!

One stone the more swings into place
In that dread Temple of Thy worth.
It is enough that, through Thy Grace,
I saw nought common on Thy Earth.

Take not that vision from my ken--
Oh whatsoe'er may spoil or speed.
Help me to need no aid from men
That I may help such men as need!

Brother Rudyard Kipling





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