The world is needing you and me,
In places where we ought to be;
Somewhere today it's needing you
To stand for what you know is true.
And needing me somewhere today.
To keep the faith, let come what may.

The world needs honest men today
To lead its youth along the way,
Men who will write in all their deeds
The beauty of their spoken creeds,
And spurn advantage here and gain,
On which deceit must leave its stain.

The world needs men who will not brag,
Men who will honor Freedom's Flag,
Men, who although the way is hard,
Against the lure of shame will guard,
The world needs gentle men and true
And calls aloud to me and you.

The world needs men of lofty aim,
Not merely men of skill and fame,
Not merely leaders wise and grave,
Or learned men or soldiers brave,
But men whose lives are fair to see,
Such men as you and I can be.

I do not ask, my friend, if you
Were born a Gentile or a Jew,
A Buddhist, or Mohammedian:
I only ask, are you a man?

It matters not, my friend, to me
If you are black as black can be,
Or colored red, or brown, or tan:
I ask but this, are you a man?

I care not, brother, whence you came,
Nor do I seek to know your name,
Your race, religion, creed or clan:
I want to know if you're a man.

I care not if you're homely quite,
Or handsome as an angle bright,
If you, throughout your little span,
Have only shown yourself a man.

I think that most men think like that:
They hate a weakling, loathe a rat;
They've always liked, since time began,
One who is first and last a man.

Here’s "Hands across the sea !" good sirs,

Here’s "Hands across the sea !"
To every isle and continent
Where ’ere our brethren be,
For we are one in sympathy,
As we are one in name;
The self-same tools are bright with use
and mystic lights aflame;

The same designs on trestle-board
By which our tasks are wrought,
Their symbol-truths impressed on heart
and centred in our thought
For that which counts for greatest good
Is through the lives of each,
Who by their acts exemplify
The principles we teach.

The world’s great heart is throbbing
with the spirit of unrest,
We hear the cry that welleth up
from people long oppressed,
We see the rule of mammon
and the grasping hand of greed,
The travesties of justice
and the toiler’s bitter need,
The striving for the mastery,
The ever-present fear,
With nation watching nation,
and the war clouds hovering near.

And the question ever riseth
as portentious signs we trace
What will the final outcome be,
and what the saving grace;
And Masonry makes us answer
With it’s never changing plan,
The Fatherhood of God,
The Brotherhood of Man!

Though aeons upon aeons break
upon the shores of time
This the grand fulfilment,
the prophesy sublime,
This the work of the trestle-board
for brethren everywhere,
For never was there a greater need
for level, plumb and square,

For trowel with cement of love
To strengthen and unite
The human race in brotherhood,
and usher in the Light!
To all who aid this glorious work,
wherever they may be,
Here’s to the Craft in homeland,
and here’s "Hands across the sea !"

It matters not whate'er your lot
or what your task may be
One duty there remains for you,
One duty stands for me.
Be you a doctor skilled and wise,
Or do your work for wage,
A labourer upon the street,
An artist on the stage;
One glory still awaits for you.
One honour that is fair,
To have men say as you pass by:
"That fellow's on the square."

Ah, here's a phrase that stands for much,
Tis good old English, too;
It means that men have confidence
In everything you do.
It means that what you have you've earned,
And that you've done your best
And when you go to sleep at night
Untroubled you may rest.
It means that conscience is your guide,
And honour is your care;
There is no greater praise than this:
"That fellow's on the square."

And when I die I would not wish
A lengthy epitaph;
I do not want a headstone large,
Carved with fulsome chaff.
Pick out no single deed of mine,
If such a deed there be,
To 'grave upon my monument,
For those who come to see.
Just this one phrase of all I choose,
To show my life was fair:
"Here sleepeth now a fellow who
Was always on the square."

What makes you a Mason, O brother of mine:
It isn’t the dueguard, nor is it the sign,
It isn’t the jewel which hangs from your breast,
It isn’t the apron in which you are dressed,
It isn’t the step, not the token, nor grip,
Nor lectures that flow fluently from the lip,
Nor yet the possession of that mystic word
On five points of fellowship duly conferred,
Though these are essential, desirable, fine,
They don’t make a Mason, O brother of mine.


That you to your sworn obligations are true –
‘Tis that, brother mine, makes a Mason of you.
Secure in your heart you must safeguard your trust,
With lodge and with brother be honest and just,
Assist the deserving who cry in their need,
Be chaste in your thought, in your word and your deed,
Support him who falters, with hope banish fear,
And whisper advice in an erring one’ ear.
Then will the Great Lights on your path brightly shine,
And you’ll be a Mason, O brother of mine.


Your use of life’s hours by the gauge you must try,
The gavel to vices with courage apply;
Your walk must be upright, as shown by the plumb,
On the level, to bourn whence no travellers come;
The Book of your faith be the rule and the guide,
The compass your passions shut safely inside;
The stone which the Architect placed in your care,
Must pass the strict test of His unerring square,
And then you will meet with approval divine,
And you’ll be a Mason, O brother of mine

 

Is a Brother off the track?
Try the Square;

Try it well on every side.
Nothing draws a craftsman back
Like the Square when well applied.
Try the Square.

Is he crooked, is he frail?
Try the Square.

Try it early, try it late;
When all other efforts fail,
Try the Square to make him straight
Try the Square.

Does he still persist in wrong?
Try the Square.

Loves he darkness more than light?
Try it thorough, try it long.
Try the Square to make him right
Try the Square.

Fails the Square to bring him in?
Try the Square.

Be not sparing of the pains;
While there’s any work to do,
While a crook or knot remains
Try the Square.

 

To stretch the liberal hand
And pour the stream of gladness
O’er misery’s withered strand, -
To cheer the heart of sadness, -
To dry the orphan’s tear,
And soothe the heart nigh broken, -
To breathe in sorrow’s ear
Kind words in kindness spoken, -
This is the Mason’s part,
The Mason’s bounden duty,
This rears the Mason’s heart
In Wisdom, Strength and Beauty

To practice virtues law’s
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
The Mason’s bounden duty
This rears the Mason’s heart
In Wisdom, Strength and Beauty

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,
The Mason’s bounden duty,
This rears the Mason’s heart
In Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.

In an old Gaelic poem called “The Poem of Trathel”, there is a scene which pictures a mother playing a harp whilst her children gather around, entranced as they listen to the sweet strains which issue from the harp at her touch on the trembling strings. She stops. The music ceases and she lays down the harp. The children pick it up and finger the strings in an attempt to reproduce the music which had come from the harp at the touch of their mother’s fingers.
In vain. A confusion of harsh discordant sounds comes forth but not the sweet music they longed to hear as a result of their own efforts. In bitter disappointment they cry out “Oh Mother, why doesn’t it answer us too? Show us the strings where the music is.”
She replies, “My children, it is a secret I cannot tell you, nor can it be told except in the presence of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Wisdom to discern the True, Strength to resist Error and Appreciation of Spiritual Beauty, qualities which you must acquire for yourselves. The music is in the strings, but the power to draw it out is not mine to give you. I can help, but you must seek and find it for yourselves. If you truly wish to acquire this power you can do so, but think not the task is easy. It will come when you have earned it, but only after long and patient search.
So it is with us. Our unaccustomed fingers wander among the wires of the harp of life. We seek the strings where dwells the harmony of the soul. We seek the lost song, the lost chord, the Lost Word.
Yet all is not really lost. The sweet harmony is in the strings all the time. We must learn, by study and practice, the art of drawing it out. In like manner, the Word we call lost is near at hand, even in our own hearts. It is we ourselves who lack the power to recognise it. The harmony of the soul is in the harp of life, it is not lost and we can acquire the power to draw it forth if we will only patiently seek and work for it.
This search for the harmony unheard by mortal ears, the harmony discerned only by the spiritual ear of the soul attuned to the divine strings of the heavenly harp, is the great purpose of Masonry.
We call it the search for the Lost Word.

 

The plainest Lodge room in the land was over Simpkins' 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 beams,
The Brethren came from miles around on horseback and in teams,
And 0! what heavy 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 Tyler'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 Simpkins' Store.

To city eyes, a cheerless room, long usage had defaced,
The tell-tale lines 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 view
The altar and the pedestals that marked the stations three,
The gate-post pillars topped with balls, the rude-carved Letter G,
Were village joiner's clumsy work, with many things besides,
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 Simpkins' 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 errors trace.
The more we saw the more we heard, the greater our amaze,
To find those country Brethren there so skilled in Masons' ways.
But greater marvels were to come before the night was through,
Where unity was not mere name, but fell on hearts like dew
Where tenets had the mind imbued, and truths rich fruitage bore,
In plainest Lodge room in the land, up over Simpkins' 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 for our 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 load of wood,
Another shoes for little ones, for each gave what he could.
Then spoke the last 'I haven't things like these to give out then,
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 Simpkins' 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 a dingy look 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.
0! wondrous transformation wrought through ministry of love
Behold the Lodge Room Beautiful! fair type of that above,
The vision fades - the lesson lives! and taught as ne'er before,
In the plainest Lodge room in the land-up over Simpkins' Store.


The above is a true story reflected in a poem about a lodge which met in a room above a country store in Colorado, USA.
Now restored by several lodges it is a completely equipped room with pioneer furnishings donated by more than
twenty of the older Masonic lodges of Colorado.

Dedicated on 13 June,1959 by the Grand Lodge of Colorado in memory of Past Grand Master, Lawrence Greenleaf
who wrote the moving poem ‘The Lodge-room over Simpkin's Store’.
The master's chair is a replica of that used by John M. Chivington, first Grand Master.

South Park City, Fairplay, Colorado, is an authentic restoration of an early pioneer mining town.

Round the ancient Lodges
Men were set on guard
North and South and east and west,
Keeping watch and ward.
Silent, steady, sleepless,
Keen of ear and eye –
On the pathway were they stood
No one might creep by.

As the covenanters
In each hidden glen
Kept a watch and ward without,
Posted earnest men –
Not as shields of evil,
Be it understood;
But they knew to keep the faith
They must guard the good.

Near the ancient Lodges
None might come to see;
None might come to listen there
Save a sign gave he,
For the ancient Lodges,
As those of today,
Kept the outer, creeping folk
Very far away.

But today each Mason
Has a duty high;
He must stand, a sentinel
To all that come nigh;
He must guard Freemasonry,
Must protect its name
As he would its gate or door
Or a woman’s name

How then shall we do this?
Word and deed must bear
Evidence of what is in
Compass, plumb and square!
So that they who watch us
In the daily crowd
Shall proclaim that Masonry
Is high, clean, and proud.

Foot to foot that we may go,
Where our help we can bestow,
Pointing out the better way,
Lest our brothers go astray.
Thus our steps should always lead
To the souls that are in need

Knee to knee, that we may share
Every brother’s needs in prayer;
Giving all his wants a place,
When we seek the throne of grace.
In our thoughts from day to day
For each other we should pray

Breast to breast, to there conceal,
What our lips must not reveal;
When a brother does confide,
We must by his will abide.
Masons’s secrets to us known
We must cherish as our own

Hand to back, our love to show
To the brother, bending low,
Underneath a ,load of care,
Which we may and ought to share
That the weak may always stand
Let us lend a helping hand.

Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear,
That our lips may whisper cheer,
To our brother in distress;
Whom our words can aid and bless.
Warn him if he fails to see,
Dangers that are known to thee

Foot to foot, and knee to knee,
Breast to breast, as brothers we;
Hand to back and mouth to ear,
Then that mystic word we hear.
Which we otherwise conceal,
But on these five points reveal.

 

We have laid the stone all truly with a craftsman’s care
We have tested it and tried it by the level, plumb and square
We have made a firm foundation for our children’s children toil
And empty poured the vessels of their corn and wine and oil

What further is remaining save stone on stone to rear
That soon the finished building in its glory, shall appear?
What more to do than giving to this pile its latest touch
And a Voice that stirs the stillness makes this answer, “There is much.”

“There is work to do my brothers, wrought of neither stone nor steel
And never dome nor tower can its majesty reveal,
For this the nobler labour, ere his toil can make it whole
Must be preformed in darkness in the master craftsman’s soul.”

“There are works of loving kindness and of charity and good
And a structure to be builded with the stones of brotherhood
For this mighty temple fabric is an empty, mocking shell
Unless within there be built a shrine of souls as well.”

Take heed then master craftsmen, when this temple shall arise
With its brave and gleaming towers pointing grandly to the skies
Let yourselves compose the structure, let yourselves the temple be
That shall stand in great proportions until all eternity.

 

By I've told you the tale of his Lordship
And the tramp he took home to his wife,
To show what could happen to some-one
Who never had sinned in his life.
It turned out the tramp's name was 'enery’,
And his father had been on the square
And he was conceived on the Friday
When his father was put in the chair.

"A Lewis, by gad" said his Lordship,
"And how did you come to be there
On the pavement outside of the Temple
With nothing half decent to wears"
Said 'enery, "I talked with me mother
Before she was took to her bed,
She talked of one thing and another,
And here's what the old lady said:"

"I can't tell you much of your father,
Except he was some kind of gent
Who I met in the ‘all in Great Queen Street,
-The one where the Masons all went".
"So when the old lady departed
And left me to fend for meself,
I took to the road broken hearted,
And thought of me father's great wealf."

Now 'enery 'ad 'eard about Masons,
How they were responsive and kind,
So he parked himself there on the pavement
And waited until they 'ad dined.
At this his Lordship looked pensive,
And started to work out the dates
Since the time of his own installation
When he went to the call with his mates.

You know how his Lordship had found him
And taken him home in the car,
But the Lady refused to receive him.
Well, you know what Ladyships are!
So his Lordship made his arrangements,
And set him up nice, in a flat,
With a pension to feed and to clothe him,
And you couldn't want better than that.

Now 'enery began to get restive
When he thought what his life could be like,
And he started to take driving lessons
So his Lordship bought him a bike.
But soon he was asking the questions,
Being free, and at least twenty-one
And he rode off to tackle his Lordship,
Who told him what had to be done.

Well, the time came for 'enery's acceptance
The date had been fixed in advance
The secretary did all the homework,
And the Master left nothing to chance.
But when 'enery got on his cycle,
-All dressed in his best quite a swell,
He found that the chain had departed
And the brakes were asunder, as well.

Now the road to the Temple was easy,
It ran down the side of the slope,
They tied up the brakes w'th some sisal,
And coasted off down full of hope.
Well he got there in time for the ritual,
But he asked at the festive board
How the Master had known that he entered
Of his own free wheel and a cord!

 

Ten Master Masons, happy, doing fine;
One listened to a rumour, then there were nine

Nine Master Masons, faithful, never late;
One didn't like the "Master," then there were eight

Eight Master Masons, on their way to heaven;
One joined too many clubs, then there were seven

Seven Master Masons, life dealt some hard licks;
One grew discouraged, then there were six

Six Master Masons, all very much alive;
One lost his interest, then there were five

Five Master Masons, wishing there were more;
Got into a great dispute, then there were four

Four Master Masons, busy as could be;
One didn't like the programs, then there were three.

Three Master Masons, was one of them you?
One grew tired of all the work, then there were two.

Two Master Masons with so much to be done;
One said "What's the use," then there was one

One Master Mason, found a brother -- true!
Brought him to the Lodge, then there were two

Two Master Masons didn't find work a bore;
Each brought another, then there were four.

Four Master Masons saved their Lodge's fate;
By showing others kindness, then there were eight.

Eight Master Masons, loving their Lodges bright sheen;
Talked so much about it, they soon counted sixteen

Sixteen Master Masons, to their obligations true;
Were pleased when their number went to thirty-two

So we can't put our troubles at the Lodge's door;
It's our fault for harming the Lodge we adore

Don't fuss about the programs or the "Master" in the East;
Keep your obligation by serving even the very least.

This I would like to be – braver and bolder,
Just a bit wiser because I am older,
Just a bit kinder to those I may meet,
Just a bit manlier taking defeat;
This for New Year my wish and my plea –
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This I would like to be – just a bit finer,
More of a smiler and less of a whiner,
Just a bit quicker to stretch out my hand,
Helping another who’s struggling to stand,
This my prayer for the New Year to be,
Lord make a regular man out of me.

This I would like to be – just a bit fairer,
Just a bit better, and just a bit squarer,
Not quite so ready to censure and blame,
Quicker to help every man in the game,
Not quite so eager, men’s failings to see,
Lord make a regular man out of me.

This I would like to be – just a bit truer,
Less of the wisher and more of the doer,
Broader and bigger, more willing to give,
Living and helping my neighbour to live !
This for the New Year, my prayer and my plea –
Lord make a regular man out of me.

There is a saying filled with cheer,
Which calls a man to fellowship.
It means as much for him to hear
As lies within the brothers grip.

Nay, more! It opens wide the way
To friendliness sincere and true;
There are no strangers when you say
To me: “I sat in lodge with you.”

When that is said, then I am known;
There is not questioning or doubt;
I need not walk my path alone
Nor from my fellows be shut out.

Those words hold all of brotherhood
And help me face the world anew–
something deep and rich and good
In this: “I sat in lodge with you:’

Though in far lands one needs must roam
By sea and shore and hill and plain,
Those words bring him a touch of home
And lighten tasks that seem in vain.

Men’s faces are no longer strange
But seem as he always knew
When some one rings the joyous change
With his: “I sat in lodge with you.”

So you, my brother, now and then
Have often put me in your debt
By showing forth to other men
That you your friends do not forget.

When all the world seems gray and cold
And I am weary, worn and blue,
Then comes this golden thought I hold-
You said-. “I sat in lodge with you.”

When to the last great lodge you fare
My prayer is that I may be
One of your friends who wait you there,
Intent your smiling face to see.

We, with the warder at the gate,
Will have a pleasant task to do;
We’ll call, though you come soon or late:
” Come in! We sat in lodge with you!”

What man soe’er I chance to see –
Amazing thought – kin to me,
And if a man, my brother.

What though in silken raiment fine
His form be clad, while naked mine;
He is a man my brother.

What though with flashing chariot wheel
He spurn my cry, not pity feel;
He is a man, my brother.

What thought he sit in regal state
And for an empire legislate,
He is a man, my brother.

What though he grovel at my feet,
Spurned by the rabble of the street
He is a man, my brother.

What though his hand with crime be red,
His heart a stone, his conscious dead;
He is a man, my brother

And when we pass upon the street,
It is my brother that I meet;
Alas, alas, my brother !

Though low his life, and black his heart,
There is a nobler, deathless part
Within this man, my brother.

The soul which this frail clay enfolds,
The image of his Maker holds –
That makes this man my brother.

Though dimly there that image shine,
It marks the soul a thing divine
A child of God, my brother.

For him the spotless Son of God
The Perfect Man, our pathway trod,
To show Himself our brother.

Nor walks the earth so vile a wretch,
But down to him that love do stretch,
As to an only brother.

Though deep the abyss with darkness lower,
‘Tis but the measure if His power
Who will then raise my brother.

A Saviour to the uttermost,
He will not see His brother lost,
Nigh ruined, yet his brother

 

Adieu, a heart warm, fond adieu,
Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favored, ye enlightened few,
Companions of my social joy!
Tho′ I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing fortune′s sliddery ba′
With melting heart and brimful eye,
I′ll mind you still, though far awa′.
Oft have I met your social band,
An′ spent the cheerful, festive night;
Oft, honored with supreme command,
Presided o′er the sons of light;
And by that Hieroglyphic bright,
Which none but Craftsmen ever saw,
Strong memory 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 the unerring line,
Still guided 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,––
Heaven bless your honored, 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′.

We meet upon the Level and we part upon the Square
What words of precious meaning those Masonic words 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 chequered floor

We act upon the Plumb - tis the order 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 honour God 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 towards it fast
We shall meet upon the Level there, when the gates of Death are passed
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 already 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 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

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