BE ON GAURD
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! top↑
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
TOAST TO THE VISITORS
By Mike Bauer of the Portobello lodge no. 226, Edinburgh
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.
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!