Table of Contents
If in the rearing of an edifice
We form one stone that makes the perfect whole;
To us 'twould be the beau-ideal of bliss
And prove glad unction to the work-worn soul.
A Temple with proportions just and true
Can but erected be by Masons skilled,
Instructed by an Architect who knew
Exactly how to tell them what to build.
And he taught us however small the stone
To plumb and level by the' unerring Square
To make it pattern, so that all might own
'Twas strong and beautiful beyond compare,
With Chisel and with Gavel we have wrought
To gain "Well Done," The Tongue of Good Report.
written at Baltimore House, Bradford, England; August 14th, 1916
published in the Masonic Sun, Toronto, Canada; October, 1916
The Goddess of Masonry
Goddess of Purity,
- spotless and rare;
- Emblem of Charity
- unsullied, fair;
- Symbol of Meekness
- radiant, bright,
- 'Minding the Brethren
- of realms of Light
- Strong in the knowledge
- of virtuous might.
- Symbol of Chastity,
- Spirit of Bliss;
- Coming to cheer us
- through the abyss.
- Token of faithfulness
- be thou our guide;
- Emblem of Hopefulness
- keep by our side,
- Help us and lead us o'er
- every dark tide!
From "The Freemason's Chronicle"
A Sprig Of Acacia
Say ye that now, alas!, has come the night,
When peace and silence hold unrivalled sway:
When 'neath the scepter of Death's awful might
Our Brother left the realms of timeworn day?
Then hush, ye Craftsmen friends who loved him well;
I say that to him comes a wondrous sight;
Our Brother now is underneath the spell
Of our Grand Master's everlasting light.
Yes! I admit its solemnness and dread
But are not Masons taught the way to die?
And I repeat, our Brother is not dead
He built on Earth a lodge-room in the Sky.
Where, with the Master Builder, lo!, he waits
For you, my Brethren all, at Heaven's eternal gates!
We're suspicious that the final lines of this poem may be mangled. If you have any other source for it, we'd be obliged if you could check it for us.
A True Mason
Write him as one who loves his fellow men,
Who speaks no evil of an erring soul;
But ever strives by action, voice, and pen,
To point the wanderer to the safest goal.
Who understands Masonic beauties rare,
Who metes out praise if praise is rightly due,
And who rebukes if straying ones should dare
To walk the path that leads them from the true.
Write him as one who sows no discord seeds;
Within whose breast there dwells a perfect peace;
Whose heart rebels against ignoble deeds;
Whose praise for God doth day by day increase;
And who in lodge no earthly mason know
Will stand to order at the gavel's blow!
Who Would Not Be A Mason?
Who would not be a Mason, and wear the apron white?
And feel the bonds of friendship the rich and poor unite?
To know Masonic virtues, to do Masonic deeds?
And sympathetic, minister unto a Brother's needs?
Who would not be a Mason, and join the brethren true?
To see our noble teachings their glorious work pursue?
To feel a bond Fraternal is theirs where'er they go?
And find a hearty welcome as they journey to and fro?
Who would not be a Mason, a craftsman just and fair,
To meet upon the Level, and part upon the Square?
To hear the voice of Charity, where'er our Lodges be?
And to know our Grips and Passwords, and share in all our glee?
Who would not be a Mason, to labor day by day?
And laboring try to lessen the thorns upon life's way?
To help to form a column, all perfect and complete?
Fit for building that great Temple, wherein we hope to meet?
- What Mason did this honored Badge adorn,
- This Jewel 'mongst its fellows so forlorn?
- Its givers never dreamed that it should be
- Exposed for sale an unredeemed Pawn.
- Did he who wore it with such joy and pride,
- Fall 'neath the battle of life's fitful tide?
- And were there none to treasure or to claim
- Such glorious Token when our Brother died?
- Was he such Craftsman as would ne'er confess
- He needed help, so great was his distress?
- And so he left it here in pledge; the while
- Old Father Time brought further hopelessness?
- Or did he tire of Ancient Art and Rite
- For it was so long ere first he saw the Light;
- That now his eagerness was on the wane,
- And fickle memory dared him to recite.
- Had he seceded from our Mysteries
- Fraternal meetings nevermore be his,
- Yet Secrets safely locked within the breast?
- One can but wonder, when such sight he sees!
Author of several books, particularly "Masonic Musings"
(1900), "Masonic Poems"; and edited several others, mostly with
mixtures of poems by known and unknown poets (not unlike the content of this
MPoets website!). Because of his encouragement and anthologizing of minor
poets, we've here given him the sobriquet of "The Amateur Poet." The
following chronological bibliography of Brother Forshaw's other works
(probably incomplete) contains a few odd instructive notes. Charles was
obviously unafraid of lengthy titles!
"Holroyd's Collection of Yorkshire Ballads." Edited by
Chas. F. Forshaw (1892). [I have no idea why Holroyd is mentioned in the
title, since it's Forshaw's collection. okl.]
"In Memoriam: Tributes to William Ewart Gladstone,
Former Prime Minister." Edited by Chas. F. Forshaw (1898).
"Poetical Tributes to the Memory of the Late Most Hon.
the Marquess of Salisbury, K.C."
Edited by Chas. F. Forshaw (1904). (Advertising sheet of Miss Gabrielle
Forshaw, certified optician of Bradford, on each pastedown.)
"At Shakespeare's Shrine: A Poetical Anthology."
Edited by Chas. F. Forshaw (1904).
"In Memoriam: Tributes to the Memory of the Late Sir Henry
Irving Litt. D. LL. D, president of the Actors' Association."
Edited by Chas. F. Forshaw (1905 or '06).
[Irving was both one of the greatest actors of
the day, and a Mason. okl.]
"Yorkshire Notes And Queries. Being the antiquarian history
of Yorkshire." Edited by Chas. F. Forshaw (5 Volumes, 1905-09).
A journal which arose from a series of
articles of the same name in the Bradford Weekly Telegraph.
These were expanded by the editor to cover the whole of Yorkshire.
A valuable feature is the series of pen portraits of well-known
Yorkshiremen, one for each issue. The series ended
in March 1909 due to a shortage of new subscribers.
"Pearls of Poesy. A Biographical Birthday Book of Popular
Poets of the Period at the time of the Coronation of King George and Queen
Mary." Edited by Chas. F. Forshaw (1911).
By 365 poets, mostly very minor, and of some value for the notes on the
contributors; a couple of poems are here first published and many more
apparently appear for the first time in book form. Forshaw was a Bradford
dentist who laboured indefatigably in the stony fields of amateur poesy."
"Poetical Tributes to the Loss of the R.M.S. Titanic"
Edited by Chas. F. Forshaw (1912).
"One Hundred of the Best Poems on the European War: By Poets
of the Empire." Edited by Chas. F. Forshaw (1915).
200 poems in all; volume I contains male poets, volume II female.