THE THOUSANATH MAN
One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it's worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin' you.
'Tis neither promise nor prayer
Will settle the finding for 'ee.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of 'em go
By your looks, or your acts, or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find
The rest of the world don't matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.
You can use his purse with no more
Than he uses yours for his spendings,
And laugh and meet in your daily walk
As though there had been no lendings.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of
For silver and gold in their dealings;
But the Thousandth Man he's worth 'em all,
Because you can show him your feelings.
His wrong's your wrong, and his
right's your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men's sight --
With that for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can't
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot -- and after!
Brother Rudyard Kipling
THE LODGE ROOM OVER SIMPKIN'S STORE
The plainest lodge room in the land
was over Simpkin's store,
Where Friendship Lodge had met each month for fifty years or more.
When o'er the earth the moon, full orbed, had cast her brightest
The brethren came from miles around on horseback and in team,
And Ah! what hearty grasp of hand, what welcome met them there,
As mingling with the waiting groups they slowly mount the stair
Exchanging fragmentary news or prophecies of crop
Until they reach the Tiler's room and current topics drop
To turn their thoughts to nobler themes they cherish and adore
And which were heard on meeting night up over Simpkin's store.
To city eyes, a cheerless room,
long usage had defaced
The tell-tale line of lath and beam on wall and ceiling traced.
The light from oil fed lamps was dim and yellow in its hue
The carpet once could pattern boast, though now `twas lost to
The altar and the pedestals that marked the stations three
The gate post pillars topped with balls, the rude carved letter
Were village joiner's clumsy work, with many things beside
Where beauty's lines were all effaced and ornament denied.
There could be left no lingering doubt, if doubt there was before,
The plainest lodge room in the land was over Simpkin's store.
While musing thus on outward form
the meeting time drew near,
And we had glimpse of inner life through watchful eye and ear.
When Lodge convened at gavel's sound with officers in place,
We looked for strange, conglomerate work, but could no error trace.
The more we saw, the more we heard, the greater our amaze
To find those country brethren there so skilled in Mason's ways.
But greater marvels were to come before the night was through,
Where unity was not mere name, but fell on earth like dew,
Where tenets had the mind imbued, and truths rich fruit age bore,
In the plainest lodge room in the land, up over Simpkin's store.
To hear the record of their acts
was music to the ear,
We sing of deeds unwritten which on angel's scroll appear,
A WIDOW'S CASE--Four helpless ones--Lodge funds were running low--
A dozen brethren sprang to feet and offers were not slow.
Food, raiment, things of needful sort, while one gave loads of
Another, shoes for little ones, for each gave what he could.
Then spake the last: "I haven't things like these to give--
Some ready money may help out" and he laid down a ten.'
Were brother cast on darkest square upon life's checkered floor,
A beacon light to reach the white--was over Simpkin's store.
Like scoffer who remained to pray,
impressed by sight and sound,
The faded carpet `neath our feet was now like holy ground.
The walls that had such dingy look were turned celestial blue,
The ceiling changed to canopy where stars were shining through.
Bright tongues of flame from altar leaped, the G was vivid blaze,
All common things seemed glorified by heaven's reflected rays.
O! Wondrous transformation wrought through ministry of love--
Behold the LODGE ROOM BEAUTIFUL!--fair type of that above.
The vision fades--the lesson lives--while taught as ne'er before,
In the plainest lodge room in the land--up over Simpkin's store.
THE MASON'S DUTY
To stretch the liberal hand
And pour the stream of gladness,
O'er Misery's withered strand,
To cheer the hearth of sadness:
To dry the orphan's tear,
And soothe the heart nigh broken;
Breathing in Afflictions ear,
Kind words, in kindness spoken.
This is the Mason's part,
A Mason's bounden duty;
This rears the Mason's heart,
In Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty.
To practice Virtue's laws,
With fervency, and freedom;
And in her noble cause,
Advance, where'er she lead `em:
To curb the headlong course,
Of Passion's fiery pinion;
And bend its stubborn force,
To Reason's mild dominion.
This is the Mason's part, &c.
To shield a Brother's fame
From Envy and Detraction;
And prove that Truth`s our aim,
In spirit, life, and action
To trust in God, through all
The danger and temptation,
Which to his lot may fall,
In trial, and probation.
This is the Mason's part, &c.
W. SKEWING, Robert Burns' Lodge
May the cause of Brotherhood
'Round the World be understood;
And peace espoused in every land,
By one and all on every hand.
May the joys of friendships be renewed,
Greed, and lust, and avarice subdued.
May the good which can be done,
Touch the lives of everyone.
May the gifts which we possess,
Be deployed for happiness.
Cyril E. Brubaker
The morning light is breaking, Lord
Another day is here,
Life's problems must again be met
With heart and vision clear.
Strength for today I ask, Dear Lord,
Strength only for today
Renew my faith, my hope revive
Illuminate my skies of gray.
For yesterday is past, Dear Lord,
Tomorrow I may never see,
Today alone lies in my grasp
To use or lose for eternity.
Help me to lend a helping hand,
To dry the fallen tears,
To give to all whose life touch mine
Some comfort or good cheer.
Help me to sink my poor weak self
With it's longings, hopes, and fears,
In service to my fellowman,
Battling thru this vale of tears.
Just for today, day by day
Courage and strength I pray,
Garnering the good, forgiving the wrong,
Til I've lived my last today.
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