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Masonic Poems and Sayings

If all the Trees Were Oaks

What if all the trees were oaks
How plain the world would seem;
No maple syrup, banana splits,
And how would orange juice be?
Wouldn't it be a boring place,
If all the people were the same;
Just one color, just one language,
Just one family name!
But -
If the forest were the world,
And all the people were the trees;
Palm and pine, bamboo and willow,
Live and grow in harmony.
Aren't you glad, my good friend,
Different though we be;
We are here to help each other,
I learn from you, and you, from me.


If Every Man a Mason
Bill M. Thacker
Marion McDaniel #56, Tucson, Arizona
Via: Masonic Travels

If Every Man a Mason
He'd never be alone
Free to travel to distant land
Far from home

If Every Man a Mason
He'd never be afraid
For he'd know a Brother's help
To be there to render aid

If Every Man a Mason
He'd be free from countries war
A Brothers alway welcome
On my land or distant shore

If Every Man a Mason
He'd be free from countries fight
Universal knowledge, peace, freedom
Ever expanding Light.


Asked Myself

I watched them tearing the building down,
a group of men in a busy town.
With a ho heave ho and lusty yell,
they swung a beam and a side wall fell.

I asked the foreman, "Are these men skilled,
the kind I'd hire if I wanted to build?"
He gave a laugh and said no indeed,
why common labor is all I need.

These men can wreck in a day or two
what builders have taken years to do.
I asked myself as I went my way,
which of these roles have I tried to play?

Have I been a builder that works with care,
measuring my deeds by the rule and square?
Or am I a wrecker that stalks the town,
content with the job of tearing it down?



To build a better world, G-d said
and I just answered - How?
The world is such a large vast place
so complicated now.
And I so small and useless am
there's nothing I can do.
But G-d in all His wisdom said
Just build a better you!


The Builder
Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came in the evening, cold and gray
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fears for him
But he turned when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man, said a fellow pilgrim near,
You are wasting your time with building here.
You never again will pass this way.
Your journey will end with the closing day.
You have crossed the chasm deep and wide.
Why build you this bridge at evening tide?"

The builder lifted his old, gray head.
"Good friend, in the way that I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."


Winter Solstice
Franz Carl Endres

Let haters hate! once hate will die,
when mankind wiser has become,
and heroism will have a new meaning,
that is: to help and not to murder.
In the chain we extend our fraternal hand
and greet you beyond sea and land,
you, brother in mankind. We do not hate.
Forward towards truth! Forward towards light!

Let liars lie! - the lie will die.
Once better days will come,
when to our grandchildren our time will seem
no more than a faded tale.
In our circle the lie is dead.
Through the night we see the approaching dawn
and prepare the way and have no dread.
Forward towards truth! Forward towards light!

Let glasses tinkle on the solstice!
Everything in the world is turning.
The ruler of today, tomorrow's nothing.
What is life but a becoming.
We see the goal, where the sun rises,
where its rays give life to a new earth.
We turn towards the East our face:
Forward towards truth! Forward towards light!

From "Alpina" Grand Lodge of Switzerland
Translation:  Leon Zeldis and Fritz Levy
Reprinted from The Israeli Freemason


The Level and The Square (1854)
Dr. Robert Morris (1818-1888)
Past Grand Master (1858-1859) of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, USA
Chartered Royal Solomon Mother Lodge #293 (1873, Israel's first regular)

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;
In the very walls of Masonry the sentiment is wrought.

We meet upon the Level, though from every station come,
The rich man from his palace and the poor man from his home;
For the rich must leave his wealth and state outside the Mason's door,
And the poor man finds his best respect upon the Checkered Floor.

We act upon the Plumb - 'tis the orders of our Guide.
We walk upright in virtue's way and lean to neither side;
The All-Seeing Eye that reads our hearts doth bear us witness true
That we still try to honor G-d and give each man his due.

We part upon the Square, for the world must have its due;
We mingle with the multitude, a faithful band and true.
But the influence of our gatherings in memory is green,
And we long upon the Level to renew the happy scene.

There's a world where all are equal - we are hurrying toward it fast,
We shall meet upon the Level there when the gates of Death are past;
We shall stand before the Orient, 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 laboring patient here;
Let us meet and let us labor, though the labor be severe;
Already in the Western sky the signs bid us prepare
To gather up our Working Tools and part upon the Square.

Hands round, ye faithful Brotherhood, the bright fraternal Chain.
We part upon the Square below to meet in Heaven again!
What words of precious meaning, those words Masonic are —
We meet upon the Level and we part upon the square.


Last Night

Last night I knelt where Hiram knelt.
Today I'm closer to my G-d,
tho hereto fore my fellowmen,
seemed each one like the other.
Today I search each one apart,
I'm looking for my Brother.
And as I feel this friendly grip,
it fills my heart with pride.
I know that while I'm on the square
that he is on my side.
His footsteps on my errand go,
if I should such require.
His prayers will plead in my behalf,
if I should so desire.
My words are safe within his breast
as though within my own.
His hand forever at my back,
to safely help me home.
Good councel whispers in my ear
and warns me of any danger.
By square and compass', Brothers Now!
Who once would call me stranger.
I might have lived a moral life
and risen to distinction,
without my brothers helping hand and fellowship,
but G-d who knows how hard it is
to resist life's temptations
knows why I knelt where Hiram knelt.


Toast To The Visitors
Michael Bauer, WSW
Portobello #226, Edinburgh, Scotland

Tonight I have the pleasure
To all I must confess
To give to you this toast
To our visitors and our guests.

The fellowship you bring tonight
Is something that can't compare
You know we like to see you
And glad that you are always there.

The harmony the chat and jokes we have ...
With our old and new found friends
We wish it could last for hours
And somehow never end.

But ... all good things must come to an end
And we go our separate way
We hope you enjoyed yourself tonight
And return again someday.

And now I ask the members
To raise a glass in cheer
To toast to all our visitors
Who supported us this year.


Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something good in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.


Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Bust by Hiram Powers (1805-1873)

Keep It Up
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

If you would not be forgotten,
as soon as you are dead and rotten,
either write things worth reading,
or do things worth the writing.


Half New Israeli Sheqel
Half New Israeli Sheqel
Traditional Masonic Wages
Mark Master's Degree, York Rite

Wages of a Mason
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealings with one another; sympathy that begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason.


Just Thinking ...

Rivers are like lives. The more contributions they gain from friendship, the bigger they grow. Friendly, quiet little streams that join them in their long, troublesome journey to the sea, make them strong and mighty. The helpful contributions of love and kindness we gain from friends make our journey of life better and richer.


Carry-On Baggage

The only things we can take beyond this lifetime are our Faith in G-d and Morality.


Parting Thought

The greatest danger for most of us is
not that our aim is too high and we miss it;
but, that our aim is too low and we reach it.



"Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiss nichts von seiner eigenen."
One who does not know other languages, knows nothing of one's own.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)



"Shma' ha-emet mi-mi she-omro."
Listen to the truth from whom tells it.
Rabbi Moshe Bar-Maimon (RaMBaM), Moses Maimonides of Cordoba (1135-1204)


RaMBaM   (1135-1204)
Rabbi Moshe Bar-Maimon
Moses Maimonides of Cordoba

The Eight Levels of Charity
Rabbi Moshe Bar-Maimon (RaMBaM), Moses Maimonides of Cordoba (1135-1204)
Mishneh Torah, Book of Seeds, Laws of Charity, 10:10-14[7-14]
© DF - Simplified and abbreviated translation from Hebrew.

Charity has eight levels:

  1. The greatest level is giving so that the recipient is no longer dependent on others.
  2. A lesser level is giving anonymously to an unknown recipient.
  3. A lesser level is giving anonymously to a known recipient.
  4. A lesser level is giving to an unknown recipient.
  5. A lesser level is giving before being asked.
  6. A lesser level is giving adequately, after being asked.
  7. A lesser level is giving inadequately, but affably.
  8. A lesser level is giving sadly.



Mystery isn't something that is gradually evaporating, it grows along with knowledge.
Mary Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964)


Many know what they are taught and what they are told; few know what they know.
Bro. Geoffrey D. Howard