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It Was Just A Little Lodge Room

author unknown

Just a quiet little lodge-room,
But a mighty force for good;
With its loyal band of members
Learning more of brotherhood;
Striving, stumbling, but progressing
Down a pathway toward the right;
Just a humble bunch of plain folks,
Reaching, seeking for the light.
Just a quiet little lodge-room
How it stirs the heart and soul
With the thrill of great endeavor
Toward a high and common goal;
With each pledge of faith and courage
To maintain the forward fight,
On the road that leads them onward
Ever onward to the light!

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Be On Guard

by Bro. Wilbur D. Nesbit

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 where 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 Masonry,
Must protect its name
As he would his 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, and clean, and proud!

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The Lodge Where I Belong

by Bro. Arthur R. Herrman

Though my Lodge may lack the splendor
Of a temple or a shrine,
Or possess the gaudy fixtures
That are classed as superfine-
Yet the fellowship it offers
Is in price beyond compare
And I wouldn't trade it ever
For life's treasures- rich or rare!

The hand-clasp firm, the word of cheer,
Oh, such meanings they impart:
The mystic ties of brotherhood
That links us, heart to heart!
You'd really have to travel far,
For the friendships quite so strong
As those one always finds right here
In the Lodge where I belong.

When all my earthly travels end,
And at last I'm borne to rest
Where mortal hands no longer toil
And I cease life's endless quest
Why there's nothing I'd like better-
Should I join the heavenly throng-
Then to meet with all the brothers
Of the Lodge where I belong!

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Toast to the Visitors

By mike bauer (a buckeye in scotland), wsw of the Portobello lodge no. 226, Edinburgh , Scotland

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

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

The harmony, the chats, 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.

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The Little Lodge of Long Ago

By Douglas Malloch

The little Lodge of long ago --
It wasn't very much for show:
Men met above the village store,
And cotton more than satin wore,
And sometimes stumbled on a word,
But no one cared, or no one heard.
The tin reflectors threw the light
Of kerosene across the night
And down the highway served to call
The faithful to Masonic Hall.
The little Lodge of long ago.

But, men who meet in finer halls,
Forgive me if the mind recalls
With love, not laughter, doors of pine
And smoky lamps that dimly shine,
Regalia tarnished, garments frayed,
Or cheaply bought or simply made,
And floors uncarpeted, and men
Whose grammar falters now and then --
For Craft, or Creed, or God Himself,
Is not a book upon a shelf:
They have a splendor that will touch,
A Lodge that isn't very much.

It wasn't very much -- and yet
This made it great: there Masons met,
And, if a handful or a host,
That always matters, matters most.
The beauty of the meeting hour
Is not a thing of robe or flow'r,
However beautiful they seem:
The greatest beauty is the gleam
Of sympathy in honest eyes.
A Lodge is not a thing of size,
It is a thing of Brotherhood,
And that alone can make it good.

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An Account of a City Mason's Visit to a Country Lodge

The old time story relating the challenging experiences of a big-city lodge member as he discovers a new meaning of Masonic brotherhood in a small country lodge. Reprinted from the Illinois Masonic News. Compliments of Gilbert Publishing Company 15624 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland Ohio 44107-3787. Distributed via the Masonic Forum on America On-line, February 1996.

"Where were you last evening, Teddy?"

"Went down to the country."

"Well you missed the meeting of your life. The Grand Master was here, we had an orchestra, the lodge room was beautifully decorated with palms and cut flowers and the banquet that followed was a peach. You surely missed it, Teddy."

"I attended a meeting of a country lodge that night."

"Wouldn't some of those country Masons open their eyes if they could see a blow-out like the one we had last night?"

"Yes, I guess they would, but they made me open my eyes at their meeting all right."

"In the first place it was held in the village schoolhouse, a two story brick building erected by this Masonic Lodge and given rent free to the county for school purposes all except the large hall on the second floor."

"I was told about the meeting the day before and expressed my desire to attend, and the Master took me down to the butcher shop and told Chris Johnson, the butcher, what I wanted and requested him to get two more of the boys and examine me. Chris told me to come back after supper, and when I did there were exactly nine of the local members present, and they made a function of the examination and used up three hours asking me from how many wives King Solomon had to where the Master hung his hat."

"They enjoyed themselves fine and I had a time that still seems like a bad dream to me. But from the moment that examination was over my standing in the village changed. I was the guest of the town and treated like a prince."

"Next day, the farmers commenced coming in at daylight and at eleven o'clock the back fence of the court house was hitched full of gray mares, each with a colt at their heels, and the schoolhouse fence were full of farmers in their Sunday clothes each one whittling a stick and talking 'Masonry'."

"At noon the real function of the day came in the shape of a dinner served by the wives of the Masons in the lodge room. I expected a luncheon, but I found a feast instead! Whole hams, whole turkeys with the stuffing sticking out and running over the plate, armfuls of celery, gallons and gallons of gravy, and right in front of me a whole roasted pig with an apple in its mouth, and do you know, that pig looked like he was glad he had died to grace so noble a feast."

"Honestly, the tables had to stand cross-legged to keep from falling down with their load, and when we got up a little child gathered up over a pint of buttons from under the table. Every night when I go to sleep I see that pig on that plate and a nice old lady that kept handing me glasses of boiled custard at that feed."

"Well, I won't make you hungry telling you about it. Enough to say that we ate and talked until four o'clock in the afternoon and I never had such a time in my life. They made me make a speech and I told all the stories that I had heard in the theaters this winter till the Master said I ought to travel with a show."

"Then the women cleared up the place while we men went out and sat on the fence and smoked like furnaces."

"At six o'clock the lodge was opened and although the Master wore a slouch hat, and although there was not a dress suit in the room and although the Senior Warden ( who was a farmer) had his favorite fox hound sitting solemnly beside his chair, I have never seen a more beautiful opening ceremony or a better rendered degree. It was the third and when the one candidate had finished the degree and listened to the lecture, I thought the work was over. But I was mistaken. The Master finished all the work in the ritual when he added something like this:"

"Jim, you are now a Mason. I fear that it will be many years before you know what that means. There is not a man in this room, Jim, that hasn't watched you grow up from a little shaver in a calico dress to manhood. There is not a man in this room who did not watch you all through school, and although you have thought all through life that you had no father, I want to tell you that you had a hundred."

"Your father belonged to this lodge, Jim, - was Master of it -- and although you can hardly remember him, every man in this room followed him to his grave and every one of us knows that his life was as spotless and square as a man's life can be and, Jim, while we don't know much about heaven, our innermost souls cry out the truthfulness of the life to come, and we know that somewhere in that great beyond your father is looking down on you and me this minute and is glad, and will watch your career as a man and a Mason with renewed confidence and hope. He and we will watch you from now on, Jim."

"He knew when you got into the habit of playing ten-cent limit with the gang down at the hotel and it hurt him and it hurt us."

"All your future life, Jim, try to remember that he is looking down at you, and when there comes up a question of right and wrong to decide, try to think what he would like to have you do, and remember you have the honor of this old lodge to sustain now- the lodge that your father loved and was Master of. Of course you are a man now, Jim, but when you were a boy, a very little boy, your daddy used to take you in his arms and pray God that He would guide you in the path that you have started in tonight and partly for your daddy's sake, partly for God's sake, partly for the sake of the honor of this old lodge, but mostly for your own sake, Jim. I beg you never to take a step that will make us regret what we have done tonight."

"Jim was in tears and I will admit that I was sniffing some myself when the old man got through. Somehow I had forgotten that he did not have on a tuxedo suit, somehow the fact that he had on a slouch hat instead of a plug, slipped out of my mind, and all that I remember and realize was that he was a true Mason.

"And now, my brethren,
What came you here to do?
When you joined our mystic circle,
Had you a purpose in your heart
To be of service to your fellow man,
And perform your allotted part?

Or came you out of curiosity
Or motives personal in view?
Tell me, brother of the square,
What came you here to do?
Have you failed to grasp the meaning
Of the symbols of our chart?

Have you failed to learned to subdue your passions
And make improvements in your art?
Do you always, always uphold the trusts
On which we firmly stand,
Teaching the Fatherhood of God
And the Brotherhood of Man?

Have you willing to aid the brother
When life surges were fierce and wild?
Have you offered cheer and comfort
To the Mason's widow, wife and child?
If you have done so, my brother,
You are a Mason good and true,
And can give a correct answer
What came you here to do? "

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Father's Lodge

By Douglas Malloch

Father's Lodge, I well remember, wasn't large, as Lodges go;
There was trouble in December getting to it through the snow.
But he seldom missed a meeting; drifts or blossoms in the lane,
Still the Tyler heard his greeting, winter ice or summer rain.

Father's Lodge thought nothing of it: 'mid their labors and their cares
Those old Masons learned to love it, that fraternity of theirs.
What's a bit of stormy weather, when a little down the road
Men are gathering together, helping bear each other's load.

Father's Lodge had made a village: men of father's sturdy brawn
Turned a wilderness to tillage, seized the flag, and carried on,
Made a village, built a city, shaped a country, formed a state,
Simple men, not wise nor witty -- humble men, and yet how great!

Father's Lodge had caught the gleaming of the great Masonic past;
Thinking, toiling, daring, dreaming, they were builders to the last.
Quiet men, not rich or clever, with the tools they found at hand
Building for the great forever, first a village, then a land.

Father's lodge no temple builded shaped of steel and carved of stone;
Marble columns, ceilings gilded, Father's Lodge has never known.
But a heritage of glory they have left, the humble ones --
They have left their mighty story in the keeping of their sons.

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"íTis scarcely true that souls come naked down
 To take abode up in this earthly town,
 Or naked pass, of all they wear denied.
 We enter slipshod and with clothes awry,
 And we take with us much that by-and-by
 May prove no easy task to put aside.

 

 Cleanse, therefore, that which round about us clings;
 We pray Thee, Master, ere Thy sacred halls
 We enter. Strip us of redundant things,
 And meetly clothe us in pontificals

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