Return to POETRY INDEX                     Return to PGL Web

top..the Degrees of Freemasonry

 

 

 

OUR VOWS

Attributed to Rob Morris

 

In Mason's Lodge with darkened eyes,

And a cable-tow about me,

I swore to hail all mysteries,

That Masons keep and Masons prize;

All brothers secrets whispered low,

All words they speak things they do,

In mystic manner taught to me.

 

On yonder book that oath I took,

And I will break it never:

I'll stand by this, and this and this,

Forever and forever

 

I swore to answer and obey,

All summons made to me duly

By brother hand or lodge array;

I swore that I would never stray

From ancient laws and rules that bound

Freemasons, in the days renowned,

But would observe them truly,

 

I swore in charity to care,

For all in sorrow hidden:

My brother on that darkened square,

His widow with dishevelled hair,,

His sorrowing orphan, doomed to stray

upon a long and desolate way

While tears gush forth unbidden

 

I swore to deal in honesty,

With each true heart around me;

That honour bright, should always be

Unbroken bond ' twixt him and me;

Nor guile, nor wrong, nor cruel fraud,

Should break, or loose that holy cord

with which my vows have bound me

 

I swore the chastity to shield

Of women true and tender;

Of Masons' widow, wife and child,

His mother,sister undefiled;

Those pure and innocent, whose love

Makes Masons' homes like heaven above

 

I swore to guard the portals close

To the Masonic Temple;

To purge the quarries of their dross,

To build the mystic wall of those

In body perfect, honest heart,

And mind mature in mortal art,

by precepts and example

 

These were our vows; be these our care,

And may such light be given,

In answer to our earnest prayer,

That we may always do and dare

All that God's gracious laws enjoin;

And so as life's last shades decline

We may be found in Heaven

 

On yonder book those vows we took,

And let us break them never;

let's stand by this, and this and this,

Forever and forever

 

top

 

HIS INITIATION

ByJim Jordan

I heard three knocks on the Temple door,
and then it was opened wide:
I felt the grip of a Masons hand,
as I slowly passed inside.

I was lowered down on bended knees,
as a prayer was said for me:
And I was helped to pass around,
for the Brethren all to see.

And all to me was black as night,
as my leader took me round:
And my racing heart, I heard more clear,
than the solemn organ's sound.

My faltering footsteps here and there,
were halted on the way;
And several questions were put to me,
as I struggled not to sway.

With my right hand resting on the "law,"
I took my obligation;
I swore I'd be a Mason true,
at my Initiation.

I shall not tell more what I saw,
or what to me was spoken;
But I saw the sign and heard the word,
and I felt the Mason's token.

I'll tell you this, that I heard a charge,
which I later learnt by heart;
and it told me all that a man should do,
as a Mason from the start.

It matters not if you pass the Chair,
or reach the highest station;
The best event of a Mason's life,
is his initiation

top

.
top

GET IT RIGHT

By Kenny Lawtie P.M.

Masonry's for men, full of secret and sign.
It's not exclusive, but woman can't join.
If you're a good man, honest and true,
then Freemasonry is just right for you.

There's lots of degrees, but you start with just three.
Apprentice then fellow then master you'll be.
Many good men these secrets have sought,
and having found them, it's helped improve their life's lot.

Becoming a better man, that's Freemasonry's aim,
and to help others achieve the same.
Not just to Brothers, but to every man-jack.
The more help you give, the more pleasure you get back.

Regular attendance and a visit or two,
will help you understand what the office bearers do.
One day, that high up chair you may reach
and if you get there try hard not to preach.
Instead persevere to keep it level and square,
and remember there's always more to learn; everyday, everywhere.

Then at the end of your life's last day,
may it be your portion to hear others say,
"He was a good man, honest and true,
always helped others, only his best would do.
The Lodge will miss him on their meeting night."
So if this is what you hear, then maybe just maybe, YOU GOT IT RIGHT!!

top

THE MASON'S PLEDGE

By Brother Rob Morris

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
top

MY BALLOT

 By Thomas Q. Ellis, Grand Master 1925

I stand at the same sacred altar
Where, prompted by brotherly love,
I vowed solemn vows without falter
Witnessed by Him from above.

As once I knelt there in reverence I
stand reverently there ---
My thoughts have suffered no severance,
As I vowed---so I'll vote---on the square

If through friendship I favor the seeker
But think him unworthy at heart ---
Lest my Lodge by my ballot grow weaker,
Such favor from justice must part.

At the altar where light flooded o'er me,
I'll betray not the trust that I bear,
I'll shame not the emblems before me,
But I'll cast my vote on the square.

Or should he be not to my liking,
But merit by action the trust;
My soul I'll not perjure by striking
A blow when such a blow be unjust ---

But I'll welcome his step 'cross the border,
I'll honor the trust that I bear,
I'll vote for the good of the order
By casting my vote on the square.

Time flies --- and ere long my petition
Will be filed in the Grand Lodge above.
I'll be glad then I tempered such mission
With justice and brotherly love.

"With the measure ye mete" has been spoken
By the Worshipful Master up there ---
No promise e're made has He broken
And He'll handle my case on the square.

top

A TORCH OF LIGHT

By Ezekiel Mu'Akil Bey

One dark clear night I looked outside
And wondered what's beyond the lights
The twinkle dots a world so vast
The blinks of stars remind of glass

My mind began to leave my soul
To travel far beyond the poles
The speed of light became a breeze
I wondered what, what could this be

An infinite space so broad to grasp
No human feeling could ever match
The guide I had I could not see
Then I remembered my three degrees

I saw the lights becoming close
With guides unknown of many host
I understood what just appeared
Masonic travel became so clear

I just perceived what's to unfold
My first entrance, which I behold
I thought of all, in mind in me
And recollected my first degree

The more I traveled the more I saw
Between two stars my mind had told
A story far beyond the spheres
Of working tools I held so dear

And then I fell in deep black holes
Passing in and on in chambers toll
I thought again what could this be
And then I thought of two degrees

My mind controlled all moves I made
But to return I wished and prayed
I swore to keep all oaths I took
The 3rd degree all clear it spoke

On my return I saw the Lord
And asked him why, what was this all
The birth of man is but a porch
To live the life of burning torch

Can't you remember I spake the word
And you appeared with all to learn
With force and power "LET THERE BE LIGHT"
And I became a torch of Light.

top

THE FIRST LINE

Earl W. Owens
Belpre (Ohio) Lodge #609

It's Lodge Night , and I'm getting ready
To assemble myself with the craft;
I've gone through my lecture so many times
Seems I know it now, both fore and aft.

I'm confident I guess. And I should be
For I've spoken many months in a mumble;
I know that the Brethren, will all be impressed
When you're good, It's hard to be humble.

So it's out to the car, and away I go
Then fear strikes me, clear to the bone;
I'd better go through this. Just one more time,
It's my last chance, while I'm still alone.

I've hardly noticed this trip at all
Now suddenly, I'm parking the car;
My hearts beating wildly. As I climb the stairs
I hear voices. Not near, but far.

Their lips are all moving, but I don't hear a word
I have to concentrate on my First Line;
Sure it'll be easier the next time around
But the trick is to do it the first time.

The Lodge is now open, and the work has begun
The first section's about to come to a close;
Gee, I should have gone to the men's room.
I feel faint, and I can't breathe through my nose.

They've just called my name, and I've taken my place
Boy! They don't give a feller much time;
And I've lost my book in a shirt with one pocket
And I can't remember my First Line.

I've learned a good lesson. It is I who's impressed
And I shall never forget this first time;
After all of the prompting, I now am convinced,
Know it all, as good as the First Line!!

top

The Knife And Fork Degree

I do not attend the meetings,
for I've not the time to spare.
But every time they have a feast ,
you will surely find me there.
I cannot help with the degrees,
for I do not know the work.

But I sure can applaud the speaker,
and handle a knife and fork.
I'm so rusty in the ritual,
that it seems like Greek to me,
but practice has made me perfect
in the knife and fork degree.

A Charge to the New Entered Apprentice
by Ted Berry

On being brought to light,
I just thought I might
Tell you
Something I think you ought to know.

There are secrets that we mention,
But we really have no intention
Of telling you
Anything just because you want to know.

Those secrets we discuss
Are in the hearts of each of us.
Yet we might still tell you
Nothing of what you want to know.

These secrets you may learn
When our trust you truly earn.
And then will we tell you
Everything you want to know.

top

Tools Of The Trade
by R. Gould
 
The Entered Apprentice sometimes travels
He uses a gauge and a gavel
He hammers away until the stone is the right size
Then he gives it to the Companion for his eyes
The Companion takes the stone and puts it in place
He uses the square, level and the plumb to make it even faced
Then comes the Master who's been there all the while
He takes the cement and spreads it with his trowel

 

top