Charles Fotheringham

Table of Contents

My Wish

My wish, that we may often meet
Upon the level, and there
We’ll work together in love and peace,
And part upon the square.

That we may strengthen the bonds of truth,
Relief and brotherly love;
Join in the grand design of peace,
The design of God above.

Work with a will together with God,
With the tools He has given;
Perfect our work for the Building above,
Completing where others have striven.

Then, when in due time we leave this lodge,
And journey on to another;
We'll meet again in the Grand Lodge above,
With the grip and the word of a brother.

Be A Little Kind

Of all good things in Masonry,
The one great virtue, you'll agree,
From First degree to Thirty-three,
Is this, just being kind.

The Working Tools we nightly use,
This virtue in us all infuse,
And thus we others do enthuse
To be a little kind.

The Five Great Points of Fellowship,
Alone, or in relationship,
Bound together by one strong Grip,
Teach us to be kind.

The lib’ral Arts teach us each day,
The Sciences our minds do sway,
We learn from them the perfect way,
The Art of being kind.

It isn't asking you too much,
To give this little friendly touch,
But oh, the joy it gives to such
Of whom you're being kind.

God this intended in His Plan,
When first He made His image, man,
Your fellow men then gently scan
And be a little kind.


We are working in the quarries
'Mid the rubbish and the silt,
Clearing out the moulded debris
Of a Temple that was built;

Lay a deep and strong foundation,
For the work that we must do
Is to stand the test of ages,
With eternity in view.

Every stone must be made perfect,
Tested by the level and square,
As each must fit the other
And the plumb-line must hang fair;

For this building is a landmark,
Build it stately and sublime,
So that others when they view it
Will remark the touch Divine.

Build with wisdom, strength and beauty,
May it tower above so high,
Be reflected in the sunlight
As it journeys 'cross the sky;

And within the shining moonlight
'Twill reflect a silver sheen
Of a monument erected
To a God of love serene.

There is no need for working tools
With which to hew, cut and plane,
There is neither noise nor bustle,
And there is no thought of gain;

For all are working ceaselessly
In a task that must be done,
There's not one of us can shirk it
Though the daylight hours be gone.

'Tis a law of God immutable
That each must to his task,
And we must give our very best,
We will, if we only ask;

Surely power shall be given,
Though we know not how nor where,
But it comes to all true craftsmen
Through and by the power of prayer.

We are building here a structure,
A Temple not made with hands,
Are we building firm and steadfast
As the law of God demands,

With materials He has given,
Strengthened by our own desires,
By our faith in one another,
In the love which God inspires.

Let us labour to its fullness,
Completing this Divine Plan,
The wondrous Fatherhood of God,
And the Brotherhood of man.


Do you think of a man by the amount of cash
He's deposited in the bank?
Do you figure him out by the car he drives,
His station in life or his rank?
Do you think of a man by his house or his land,
The extent of his park, his trees,
The stocks and bonds his gold may have bought,
Do you figure a man by these?

Do you think of a man by his helpful hands,
Whether they are calloused or smooth
Do you figure him out by his kindly smile,
By the hurts in life he may soothe?
Do you think of a man by the clothes he wears,
Or the good deeds he may have done,
Of the place he may hold in the hearts of men,
And the friends he may have won?

The Length Of Your Cable-Tow

Hand to Hand:
Just as far as your hand may reach
To help a worthy brother,
On the road of life,
Through the stress and strife,
Without injury to another.
Foot to Foot:
Just as far as your feet may tread,
When doing the Master's part,
In the sheerest delight
Of doing what's right,
To brighten the care-weary heart.

Knee to Knee:
Just as far as your prayers ascend
When praying to God above,
With a heart sincere,
And a soul more dear,
In friendship and brotherly-love.

Breast to Breast:
Just as far as your eyes may see
Into the hearts of others,
With sympathy rare,
The burdens to share,
And prove that all men are brothers.

Hand On Back:
Just as far as your tongue may speak,
(Its hurt may go unmeasured),
Let it silent remain
Than e'er speak in shame,
That mem'ry may ever be treasured.

As far as the east is from the west,
From depth to height stretching free,
If woven in love,
And strengthened in God,
Your Cable's length surely will be.

On The Square

You may be a doctor, a lawyer or poet,
A merchant, a tailor or priest,
A baker, a milkman, a teacher or sage,
You may be the greatest or least.
We all have our duties in life to do,
Whether easy or hard, they're there,
But when they are done you like to feel
That you are On The Square.

It is good to know you have done your best,
Helped someone along life's rough way,
Have shared your goods and given advice,
With never a thought about pay.
You have done your best, have done the good deed,
Because you saw the need was there,
And oh, the joy you felt within,
By acting On The Square.

Whatever in life you would like to be,
Or whatever you think you are,
It's often what our friends will say
That either help us or mar.
And life becomes a more beautiful thing,
The flowers and birds seem more fair,
When people say as we pass by,
"That fellow's On The Square."

The Greatest Of These Is


Give me a faith that I may know
A sincere wish to do Thy will,
A perfect rev'rence for Thy name,
My lips to praise, my heart to fill;
A steadfast confidence in Thy Word,
A line of conduct that will give
Obedience to Thy Holy Laws,
Pleasing to Thee in whom we live.


Give me a hope, a steadfast hope,
That sin nor strife can never take,
Nor terrors of grim death destroy,
That storms of fate can never shake;
Hope which unveils to mortal eyes
The mysteries of the heavenly goal,
A greater love that will express
The immortal longings of the soul.
Give me a sacred hope that gives
A comfort to declining years,
To trace the rainbow to the end,
Through mists of doubt or vale of tears.


Give to my heart true charity,
To carefully preserve within,
The sacred flame Thou dost impart,
And purge my soul from every sin;
That sacred virtue which inspires
The breast with true beneficence,
All errors view with kindliness,
Rise in the scale of excellence.
Thy love shall be my tracing board,
Upon this love I'll lay my plans.
And reach up to the heights of God.
With purer heart and cleaner hands.

The Grips

Not alone by the Apprentice Grip
Can a man be raised above;
Not alone by Virtue,
Morality, Brotherly love;
These attributes, though good to have,
Are only aids, 'tis true,
And serve to keep us in the Way,
With worthwhile things in view.

Not alone by the Fellowcraft Grip
Can a mason e'er be raised;
Nature and Science dispel the gloom
And obstacles are effaced;
The liberal Arts do lead us on,
And intellect will serve,
But not these things alone can save
When we are wont to swerve.

Not alone by the Master's Grip,
Though faith be firm and true;
No grip alone can raise man up,
Though each may help him through.
Each Grip, assisted by the other,
The three Grips must entwine,
To raise man to eternal life,
That life in God, Divine.

Friendly Hands

To sit alone with a friend at ease,
And talk or not, just as you please,
Yet in deep silence to understand,
To feel the clasp of a friendly hand.

Though tired and weary, worn with care,
Or in the depths of dark despair,
What comfort just to reach your hand
And clasp another's who understands.

The golden rays of the rising sun,
The sacred hues of day, now done,
Are glorious made by the unseen hands
Of one great Friend who understands.

The crowds may hurry, move swiftly on,
And melt in nightly silence, gone;
Let me but clasp the steadying hands
Of one true friend who understands.


I've seen so many come and go,
I often wonder why,
They seem enthused with zeal, and yet
It seems to quickly die.
What is the cause? Where the fault?
That these men come and go,
These Craftsmen should be held to work,
The Temple's beauty show.

In times gone by, when held to work
By Master's fast decree,
They learned to labor, slow but sure,
Were taught to plainly see
That steady work with zeal and care,
Though time passed swiftly on,
Would stand the test of time and tide,
Though Builders would be gone.

Do we as Masters of the Art
Employ our virtues rare?
To look upon the Ashlar's rough,
Then work with gentle care,
To visualize just where this stone
Would set to serve the whole?
Then with our working tools, begin
To reach th' envisioned goal.

Too oft we glance with careless eye
And pass on to the next,
Nor stop to note the kind of stone,
Consider what is best.
A chance gone by, there to apply
Those principles we prize,
And now our building thus is set,
Nor uniform, nor size.

And now we gaze with troubled eye,
Behold a jumbled mass,
Not one stone in its rightful place'
'Tis often true, alas;
We've been remiss in all we've done,
Our work is all for naught,
So now we see "What might have been"
If only we had wrought.

Too late, too late, our work is done,
Others will take our place,
But oh, the toil we've passed to them,
To tear down and efface,
To build anew a Temple true,
Conforming to His plan,
Well laid. foundations deep and strong,
Fit for God and man.

Speculative Working Tools

The Tools of a mason are made for use.
If used with caution, there'll be no abuse,
In all things be zealous, exerting great care,
That our inner temple be wondrously fair.

With gavel and chisel the rough stones to hew.
That when it is finished, exposed to the view,
'Twill be an example the worthy to share,
If proved by the level, the plumb line and square.

The gauge will measure the extent of our work,
With thought of completion, and never to shirk,
To labor in gladness, our vigilance to keep,
In prayer and refreshment, labor and sleep.

The square and the plumb line, the level so true,
Adjusting all angles, all uprights, too.
Thus we in our conduct, their straightness compare,
Our thoughts, words and actions must be on the Square.

The Skerrit, Compasses and Pencil, these three,
Are guiding our conduct for all men to see,
Each one should obey God's instructions divine,
If we would ascend to the Grand Lodge sublime.

Not Thrown Among The Rubbish

I wrought in the quarries with zeal and care,
And tested my work with level and square,
That it might be used by the builders there,
Not thrown among the rubbish.

I used my Mallet and Chisel with zest,
To smooth off each surface, I did my best,
I wished my stones to be used with the rest,
Not thrown among the rubbish.

I sought to know when the work was done,
That my stones were chosen, the mark thereon,
And longed that the Master would say "Well Done."
Not thrown among the rubbish.

I prayed that in time when work was complete,
That I would stand there at His Judgment seat,
And there be accepted a Craftsman replete,
Not thrown among the rubbish.

He Answered The Call

We do not grieve, we who know,
Nor are we sad, as they go
To claim reward from God's hand,
A life well-spent, God's Command.

A Mason true by level tested,
With virtue rare, a heart invested,
And love to every brother man,
Foundation stone of God's great plan.

A key-stone in the Arch of Life,
Cemented strong, nor wind nor strife
Can mar its beauty, dim its parts,
Within the Holy Royal Arch.

True Patriot, in his Country's need,
Great soldier, such a one to lead;
Good Mason, Husband, Brother, Friend,
True to his God! Can such life end?

Within our hearts and minds he lives,
Nor death can steal the love he gives;
The passing years will ne'er obscure
The memory of a life so pure.

And as the years go swiftly by,
The impress of his life will lie
A monument to his memory,
A life of faith and constancy.

We do not grieve, but we rejoice,
He heard the call, The Master's Voice,
The door is ope'd, the light revealed,
Blessed are those who faith did wield.


As we are now about to part
And from this bless'd retreat depart,
Remember then the lessons taught,
As we in love together wrought.

Around this Altar we have stood,
Where God's great spirit's wont to brood,
Here we have all our work reviewed,
And all our sacred vows renewed.

That we have promised in His name,
To aid each one — and if in blame,
To seek that we might palliate,
And his distress alleviate.

That we may in a gentle way,
Remind him of his faults and pray
He may be strengthened by God's love,
Then to mankind God's goodness prove.

Let prudence ever be your guide,
And temperance in us preside,
So that our lives may ever tell
"He liveth long who liveth well."

Oh, never let us then suppose,
As when the day draws to its close,
That all our work has been for naught,
Our rest is all too dearly bought.

For know — your work is with the Lord,
Yes, it is written in His word,
That from Eli’s wondrous opulence,
Our God will give due recompense.

And now, my brethren, live in peace,
That love and joy may e'er increase,
Be of one mind in all you do,
The God of peace e'er dwell with you.

As mentioned elsewhere, parts of some poems were shuffled. This was one of them, and it still sounds as if it needs another verse or two.

Addenda: With the hard copy in hand, it is confirmed that the final two verses of this poem were not included in the online copy. They have now been typed in by hand.


You have come to the time when labour is ended,
The Temple's completed, you look back to see
What you have done as through life you have wended,
Have you built a home for eternity?

As an Entered Apprentice served you your Master?
Did you serve Him with freedom, fervency, zeal,
As a bearer of burdens, bring from the Quarries
Rough Ashlars to square for the Temple's true weal?

As a Fellowcraft labouring through heat of the day,
Applying the level and plumbline with care,
The mallet and chisel your patience display;
Were your stones passed by overseer, marked foursquare?

When a master did you your knowledge impart?
Dispense to the brethren the true light and love,
Impress truth and wisdom on every heart,
Preparing the way to the Grand Lodge above?

Have you done all you could to aid your brethren?
Has kindness and love been the rule of your life?
Did you bear care and woe with faith and submission
And trust in God through your trouble and strife?

Then, Brother, rejoice, for now you have built
A Temple, foundation strong, deep and well laid,
The fabric can't crumble, so strongly welded,
With beauty so wonderous, it can never fade.

This poem was appended to the tail end of another totally different one (Refreshment). Since it was similar to one entitled Why?, I retitled that as Why Curse?, and placed this one with it with the title Why Be Mean?.

Addenda: With the hard copy in hand, it is confirmed that the title (which I guessed correctly) and first three verses of this poem were not included in the online copy. They have now been typed in by hand.

Why Be Mean?

We're only once upon this earth,
Life's all too short for that,
So, why be mean? It doesn't pay
To practice tit for tat.

We surely ought to do our part,
Striving for each other,
Forget the petty jealousies,
Consider one another.

It is so easy to be kind,
Although at times be stern,
For there are lessons in this life
That everyone must learn.

Some folks are mean, just to he mean,
These cause all the strife,
And make things hard for those who wish
To do their best through life.

Just think how much you feel the hurt
When others do you wrong.
Then you will do your best to aid
And help the world along.

Two sides there are to everything,
Your view is just your own,
Life isn't run by two and two,
Each one must stand alone.

But standing thus alone you'll find,
If working each for each,
That we’ll attain the best in life,
Which seems now out of reach.

We view life's pattern underneath,
A jumbled criss-crossed smear,
But God, He sees it from above,
The pattern stands out clear.

Remember when you are being mean,
You hinder God's great plan,
Let's work with God and bring about
The Brotherhood of Man.

Rejected? No!

I found within the quarries deep,
A stone which other hands designed,
And thought to use it as my own,
Rejoiced in this my timely find.

I had been taught to square my stones
By Masters, guided through the years
The Gavel, Plumbline, Level true,
I'd used with skill, no need for fears

But this white stone which I had found
Was neither oblong nor of square,
It seemed some craftsman had displayed
Great skill to shape a form so rare.

Now, I thought, I'll take this stone,
Not shapen square, but curious wrought,
And substitute it for my own,
For skill like this could not be bought.

What need have I to waste my time,
When here at hand is beauty rare,
My cunning hand some future day
Will fashion one more wondrous fair.

I carried up my stone with care,
Thought to deceive the Master Mind,
Forgot He'd taught me how to square
And dress the stones which I had mined

And as I paused before Him there,
He scanned me with His gentle eye,
Then looked at me with pitying glance,
Nor spake a word as I passed by.

I knew He had my soul rebuked,
But still, I thought I would repair
And seek the wages I had earned,
By finding such a stone so fair.

But as I stretched my hand to take
That which another should receive,
Again I felt that pitying glance,
My soul was shamed; could I deceive?

I could not take what was not mine,
And knew the reprimand was due,
Though deep within my heart the thought
This stone would yet be brought to view.

A stone of beauty, cunning wrought,
Amid the rubbish could not lie,
Its place in structure would be found,
A building it would beautify.

Again I wrought to square my stones,
While years sped on, the building grew,
And as I laboured there alone,
Forgotten was the stone I knew.

At last the building was complete,
But no, one stone was needed there,
Not square nor oblong, curious wrought,
A stone of beauty, wrought with care.

My task — "go seek," the Master cried.
"Search 'mid the rubbish and the silt,
But find you now the curious stone
To bind the structure we have built."

At last 'twas found, the missing stone,
Its beauty ne'er had been effaced,
Amid great scenes of wildest joy,
In centre of the Arch 'twas placed.

My stone, the stone which I had found,
Rejected by the Craftsmen there,
At last had come into its own,
To bind a Temple wondrous fair.

As once again I stood before
The Master, though in humble guise,
No wages did I think to seek,
The years had taught me to be wise.

With kindly mien and smiling face
He greeted me; I had been tried,
Reward enough, my stone was there,
Rejected? No. 'Twas glorified!

Our Precepts

To honour and to love our God,
His mandates to obey,
To follow Him in righteousness
And serve Him day by day.

Uphold the Holy Christian faith,
To thine own self be true,
The Church's dignity preserve,
Its interests ever view.

To God and Country loyal be,
Our Master's pleasure seek,
Supreme is he who others serve,
In everything be meek.

Be just and true in word and deed,
No willing offence give,
Truth will stand when all else fails,
As God forgives, forgive.

Abhor all pride and haughtiness,
In humbleness be strong,
Protection give to all the weak,
Oppose whate'er is wrong.

Seek not respite in things debased.
Nor recreation vile,
But ever seek to be employed
In things you know worthwhile.

Yes, strive to raise the standard high,
That men may plainly see
Your precepts, your belief in God,
The Holy Trinity.


Thanksgiving time is here once more,
Let's get together and tally the score,
No bombs fell on our homes this year,
No earthquakes or floods to give us a scare.

Our tongues were not swollen because of thirst,
Our hearts were not broken or like to burst,
No distended bellies with hunger or cramp,
Our feet were not aching because we must tramp.

No plague or pestilence to spoil our days,
To wipe out our neighbors in devious ways,
No rattle of gun-fire; no cannon roar;
No cruel henchmen to break down the door.

No one to bar or seal up the Church,
To enter our homes and wantonly search,
None to despoil the ones whom we love,
Thanks be to God in Heaven above.

We all are well-cared for, all are well-fed,
Warm dwellings to live in, a comfortable bed,
Our daily toil brings an adequate cheque,
The doctor and nurse give a routine check.

There are many today, outside our land,
Who are seeking and needing a helping hand,
But we in this country are sitting just right,
Just take a look 'round and see the plight,
The chaos, the hardship, the dread and fear,
The poverty, distress, the undried tear,
While we have everything of the best,
With this world's goods we're truly blest.

Yes, Thanksgiving time is here once more,
Did you sit right down and tally the score?
If you did, like good Masons you’ll start from here
And practice your teachings without let or fear,
The distinguishing mark of a Mason, you know,
Is to give of his best in a charitable flow;
For God in all His benignity
Has given so much to you and to me,
Now give 'till it hurts, then start to pray,
With Real, True Sincerity, Thank God Today!

What Of Your Masonry?

What of your Masonry? Is it put by,
Taken off with your Apron, there to lie
Dormant and void, inefficient and vain
Until in the Lodge-room you wear it again?

Listen, my brethren, True Masonry dwells
Out in the world, not in prisons and cells,
It feeds the hungry, defends the oppressed,
Lifts those who languish, soothes the distressed.

It prays to the Father in Heaven above
And seeks to give charity, brotherly love,
It's worked in the home, the streets, in the store,
Fully as much as behind the tyled door.

It isn't a thing you can hide far away
To give it true value, one lives it each day,
Take time to enjoy the work of the craft,
Don't use it, my brethren, for dissent or graft.

Join with your fellows, your apron display,
The teachings of virtue, practice each day,
And when to the Grand Lodge above you have gone,
You'll hear the Grand Master proclaim "Well Done!"

Ancient Landmarks

Liberty in man is priceless,
Order, then, must be your thought,
Doing things in moderation,
Great in all that may be wrought;
Emulate the good in others,
Understanding ever be,
Oppose all ill, without pretension,
Foster good, that all may see.

Attention to our Ancient Landmarks,
Nature's laws, we must maintain,
Charity in all its fullness,
Innocence, nor spot nor stain.
Endeavour to correct all error,
Nurture faith within the breast,
Truth uphold in all its glory,
Ever give to God your best.

Love your neighbor as a brother,
Apply the essence of your creed,
Nourish in your heart true kindness,
Daily do a gracious deed;
Measure life in acts, not moments,
Apprehend all good in life,
Righteous be in all your judgments,
Keenly advocate the right,
Such, my brethren, are the precepts,
Practice them with zeal and care,
Thus you'll know the joy of living
In God's presence, everywhere.


He has not served who gathers gold,
Nor has he served whose life is told
In selfish contests he has won,
Or expert deeds he may have done,
But he has served who now and then
Has helped along his fellow men;

Our Masonry needs such men today,
Strong, gracious, kind in every way,
With cheerful mien and helpful hands,
The complete faith that understands
The beauty of the simple deed,
Which serves another soul in need;

Good men to stand beside the weak,
To listen well, while others speak,
Those who squarely play life's game,
Nor ask reward of gold or fame.

May we then do the best we can
To help along our brother man,
And pray we lose all selfish need
To glory in the larger deed,
Which paves the road and lights the way
For all who chance to come our way,
That every word and deed and thought,
May with the love of God be fraught.

As mentioned elsewhere, parts of some poems were shuffled. The stanzas from the fourth verse onward still sound as if they're part of a different poem.

Addenda: With the hard copy in hand, it is confirmed that these verses are correct, however a final verse of this poem was not included in the online copy. It has now been typed in by hand.

Lost And Found

I became an Entered Apprentice
And learned that I had lost
The things of God that make up life,
And had to pay the cost;
And knew until I had regained
The things in life worthwhile,
That I must seek until I learned
To go the second mile.

To aid me in my searching,
I a Fellow-craft became,
And laboured in the quarries,
Perfection was my aim;
To know just what it means to work
And toil with my fellow man,
To become a portion of the whole,
A unit in God's plan.

To help me in my questing
I took the third degree,
I had to know the truths of life,
And what it held for me;
I found that life was incomplete
Unless a mortal knew
That Death is part and parcel
Of the things God has in view.

I saw the wreck and ruin
Of things that had been built,
I also saw the chaos
'Mid the rubbish and the silt;
I learned to build, not for myself,
That in life's onward march,
Each one must learn to live within
The Holy Royal Arch.

I also knew that I must know
And walk the perfect way,
I knew I once had known it,
But lost it on the day
I turned aside from truth and right,
And thought of naught but self,
The appeasing of the appetites,
And seeking power and pelf.

I knew that I must follow
In the paths of God's own Son,
The Captain of Salvation,
Until my goal I'd won;
That I must know the reason,
The substance of this life,
To watch and pray and come what may,
To overcome all strife.

I sought new consecration
For the task that lay ahead,
I prayed for grace to guide me,
To give me daily bread;
The bread of life from heaven,
The water from on high,
To feed my soul and spirit
And keep me ever nigh
The Creator and the Giver
Of the essence of all light,
The Sun, the Moon, Planets, Stars,
All glowing by His might.

I knew that I had found the word
I thought forever lost,
That I had found the secret —
"Before I was Thou wast";
I sought to do, to work with God,
If there be gain or loss,
And this would be my Trestle board,
The glory and the cross.

What is Freemasonry?

I have often been asked, my brethren,
What masonry really must be,
And many long hours I've pondered
The meaning it has for me.

- - - - - - - - - -

In the home, my friend, it is kindness
To children, to parents, to wife,
The giving of love,
like the Father above,
Making heaven right here in this life.

In business, my friend, it is fairness,
The Value for dollar and cent,
As you thus will ask,
when done earthly task,
Of your God; one hundred percent.

In society, my friend, it's politeness,
Just showing to all the great mind,
Whether money'd or rich,
or lowly in niche,
We are all of one God, humankind.

At work, my friend, it is equity,
Not only in doing your work,
With zeal and with zest,
doing your best,
And never a moment to shirk.

To the unfortunate, my friend, it's pity,
They may have lost all, pray God
Send them comfort, relief,
a stronger belief,
And we must be to them, a friend.

To the wicked, my friend, it's resistance,
Keeping your soul pure and sweet,
Being true to your God
on this earthly sod,
Attending at His Mercy-seat.

To the weak, my friend, it's just helping
Another along life's rough road,
Attend them with care,
God's mercy share,
And bearing the most of the load.

To the strong, my friend, it is trusting,
Trust where you cannot trace,
On God's strength rely,
and all else defy,
His strength will be to you, grace.

To the penitent, my friend, it' s forgiveness,
As the Father in heaven will give,
And in that lone hour
when darkness shall lower,
We, too, may ask God to forgive.

To one's self, my friend, it's integrity,
Being faithful to the purpose of life,
To act on the square,
be upright and fair
And true to your God, through all strife.

To your God, my friend, it is reverence,
When our voice or our thoughts we raise,
Never speak His name,
in blame or in shame,
Just glorify Him, and praise.

- - - - - - - - - -

You have often asked me, my brother,
What masonry means to me.
This, my reply,
on God rely,
His Grace is sufficient for thee.

The Secrets

The secrets of Freemasonry
Are the secrets of all life,
In truth, successful living,
Abhorring pride and strife.

To scorn, despise all falsehood,
And ever love the true,
Do to others in fullest sense,
The good that you can do.

To live in peace and concord,
And friendly be to all,
To pray for those that hate you,
Assist all those that fall.

No matter what their creed may be,
Or politics profess,
To aid each one along the road
That leads to happiness.

Whatever their social status,
Or all their worldly wealth,
To pray for their true welfare,
Peace, contentment, health.

To seek out those who hunger,
So be a friend in deed,
Attend the sick and weary,
And go where there is need.

To lay aside all enmity,
All greed and selfishness,
To garner in all truth and love
And practice selflessness.

The great Masonic secret,
By all the world possessed,
Through faith and hope and charity,
Mankind is truly blessed.

The Working Tools of the Fourth Degree


As we are assembled round this festive board,
Each in his respective station,
I now present you the working tools
Of a convivial Master Mason.

The knife is an implement made to carve
The most ancient and venerable rooster,
Not tear it apart with our fingers,
Like our ancient brethren "use-ter".

The fork is an implement to help us reach out,
Sometimes where the other guy's place is,
And carries the portions carved by the knife
To the aperture in our faces.

The spoon is a wonderful implement too,
Shaped and formed like a scoop,
You must use it with care and always beware,
Never slurp when taking the soup.

The tumbler determines the quantity there,
To limit the amount you may drink,
That we may preserve our faculties rare,
Not act like a big human sink.

But now I see you are waiting for me
To apply these tools to our morals,
But as we are not speculative just now,
We'll apply these tools to our victuals.

From the knife which is long and sharpened for use
We learn an old lesson true,
To never cut more for the hole in our face
That we can comfortably chew.

From the fork with its shoulders true and firm,
Its four prongs standing together,
We learn that Masons should always be true,
And steadfast in all kinds of weather.

The spoon is for foodstuffs that will not stand up,
Like cereals, soups or jelly,
By this we're reminded that we should be strong,
And have more backbone than belly.

The tumbler reminds us when giving a toast,
When to Master or Tyler we sip,
We mustn't forget and indulge too much,
That we may not lose our grip.

Now from the whole we this moral deduce,
These tools for our use are essential,
But never make hogs of yourselves by their use,
Or perhaps you may lose your potential.

It isn't just right to gorge every night,
With good things, to stewards' preferential,
Just take enough of all the good stuff,
For temperance is surely prudential.

So don't ever use the tumbler too much,
'Til you stammer and wobble and stutter,
Don't be a big fool with this working tool,
Or you may spend the night in the gutter.

So, brethren, be sure when from labour you're called
To refreshment, shun the attractions,
Let prudence and temperance and fortitude be
The rule and the guide of your actions.

Fraternal Visiting

I like to go out visiting
Once in a little while,
It does a fellow good I think
And never cramps his style;
You make a lot of worthwhile friends
Wherever Masons meet,
You'll always get some food for thought
From south, from west, from east.

To hear the minutes being read out
Is quite an education,
Watch the officers do their work,
Gives appreciation.
Comparing work as it goes on
Is interesting too,
Some mighty fine ideas you’ll get,
And a perspective, too.

So doing this you'll broaden out,
Your mind is what I mean,
A little friendly criticism
Gives satisfaction keen;
It happens that sometimes you'll have
A little work to do,
That makes you feel like one of them
And that's the proper view.

And when the lodge puts on the fourth
That ends the evening right,
One never knows a brother, 'til
He's eaten with him at night;
There's such a wealth of wisdom,
Given o'er the festive board,
At times a wise old P.M. gives
His private tracing board.

He makes new symbols of the old,
Old truths stand out like new,
For they've been thought out by the years
Of understanding true;
You've made new friends, renewed the old,
Have heard a grand discourse,
But oh, the joy in what we term
Fraternal intercourse;

Why don't you go out visiting,
You'll find it is worthwhile,
It keeps one right up on his toes,
And never cramps his style.

Past Masters' Night

(The names may be changed to suit the Lodge)

A past Masters' night is just really fine,
It brings out the men who have gone through the line,
To see them all there in the officers' chairs,
Just gladdens the heart and we have no fears
That the work will be shoddy or half memorized,
They've wrought in the quarries and all realize
That work must be perfect and stones set fair,
They've handled the Plumbline, the Level and Square.

There's Stewart as Master, Past D.D.G.M.,
A really fine Mason and prince among men,
And W.C. Gauld, who studies the law,
He can take over for he knows the score,
There's Jerrett, accountant, and Newton, retired,
With zeal for freemasonry they're all inspired,
Get them together, the work goes right on,
Right well they do it without pro and con.

And Architect Horwood, he draws the line,
With pencil delineates the building so fine,
And Boydell, superintending, uses no force,
Past Grand Lodge Officer, takes a straight course.
There's Hogle and Coombs, Dunham and Barrs,
Like the four cardinal virtues nothing then mars
Their lustre, these Masons are just, firm and true,
An example to all in whatever they do.

Now Allman, Lancaster, Elvidge and Kyte,
If they had no part, it wouldn't be right,
They've worn their aprons through all the years,
Their garments unspotted throughout toil and cares;
And Worshipful Brothers, Past Masters five,
The Five Points of fellowship, really alive,
In Wilson and Clement, Lucas and Cooke,
And Clarke '62, now just take a look,

They stand foot to foot, firm and erect,
Hand to hand clasped there is no defect,
Knee to knee bending their prayers shall rise,
Breast to breast sending their thoughts to the skies
Thus they are bound by one great chain
Of love and affection, never to wane,
And now, my brethren, a Toast I now call,
To our Past Masters, God bless them all.

This poem was titled "The Hunter — Haunted", but I've taken the liberty of switching it around to something less convoluted.

The Haunted Hunter

A Mason one day set out hunting,
Alone, and feeling so fine,
Out through the forest and muskeg,
Right into the timberline.

It started to rain, the elements
In pandemonium roared,
The lightning flashed and thundered,
The rain, it poured and poured.

He got soaked to the skin, and sheltered
Inside an old hollow tree,
He squeezed and squeezed inside it,
It was tight for a man such as he.

But he found 'twas better inside it
Than out in the rain as it poured,
For the rain came down in torrents,
He'd found the best place to be stored.

And now he started a-thinking
Of things he'd done amiss,
The times he could have done better,
My, how oft he had been remiss.

By this time the storm had abated,
The sun came out shining bright.
It started to dry out the tree trunk
In which he was wedged so tight.

He found he was stuck there and couldn't
Move any which way in that trunk.
For it seemed as the tree got drier,
It got tighter, he really felt "punk".

Well, again he started a-thinking
Of what his life might have been,
And there in that desperate position
His life passed by like a dream.

And then came the thought: he'd not paid
His dues to the Lodge, how he shrunk,
He began feeling smaller and smaller,
And climbed easily out of the trunk.

So, fellows, when comes time for paying
Your dues to the Lodge, do not flunk,
Just pay up and then you won't feel like
The guy who climbed out of the trunk.

Originally titled just Why?, I've expanded it to this more descriptive one, originally for the reason mentioned with the poem Why Be Mean?.

Why Curse?

Do you ever pause, consider,
When your language is profane,
Do you feel a little guilty
When you take God's name in vain?

Do you think your friends admire you
When you yourself, so betray,
Do you think you are emphasizing
All the words you have to say?

When you're in a weighty dispute,
You will find it helps a lot,
Just to stick to plain old English,
Even when you're on the spot.

You will gain more when you're speaking
In a firm but gentle way,
Swearing never gained a conquest,
Though some people think it may.

For a man who swears and curses
Oft displays a feeble mind,
And portrays a lack of learning,
Understanding of his kind.

Perhaps you feel a little helpless,
Finding words that rightly suit,
For the lack of education
Makes a person often mute;

Then it is he starts a-swearing,
Takes the name of God in vain,
Just can't measure up to standard,
Of the best he can't attain.

You have promised at His Altar
That you'd ne'er His name profane,
Like the brightness of His Glory,
Keep your soul from spot or stain.

Yet you use this unclean language
Talking to your fellow men,
Soils the very air you're breathing,
Fouls it time and time again.

Now, good people, in your thinking,
In your words and in your deeds,
Let yourself be unpretentious,
For ostentation there's no need.

In that day when life is ebbing,
And our eyes on earth grow dim,
May our souls with light immortal
Rise in goodness, praising Him.

Make your life one Glorious Anthem,
Praising God, the One Most High,
And in prayer and supplication,
Seek to Love and Sanctify.


Eternal and Universal I Am,
Fountain of Love, Wisdom, Happiness,
Nature's the book where Thy character's writ,
And all Thy works doth light express;
Our eyes are therefore directed to Thee,
As the servant's directed to the Master,
We know Thee, we receive our gifts from thee,
Thou art our Mentor and our Pastor;

O Lord of all, all things should praise Thee,
Unceasingly, forever, and with their whole heart,
For all things existing come out from Thee,
And thus, with Thee, become once more a part;
All that exists will once more re-enter
Thy love or Thy anger, Thy light or Thy fire,
And everything good, or if it be evil,
Must serve to Thy Glory, Thou great Desire;

Thou art the Lord, Yea, the Lord alone,
Thy will is the fountain of truth and light,
All powers that exist in the Universe,
Can never escape Thy Will, Thy Might;

Thou resides in the Sanctuary,
The Virtuous Heart!
Yea, All in All, beyond all expression,
Beyond all conception, all things Thou art;
Great Creator, Yea, Order out of Chaos,
Thou Symbol of Wisdom, of Love most bright,
I live in Thee, live Thou in me,
Thou Marvellous Light.

An Appreciation

We've had a most successful year
With you, Sir, in the Chair,
You've filled the Worthy Master's place,
With grace, with zeal and care;

The Lodge just seemed to gain new life
Since you took up the gavel,
The work has gone so smoothly on
With ne'er a hitch or cavil.

You opened up the lodge with ease
And never needed prompting,
The work you undertook to do
You did it without stumbling;

You gave to each and every one
A little work to do,
You made us feel that we must work
And see our duties through.

With Master-hand you guided all,
With kindly thought and smile,
You've been to us in every way
A Master that's worthwhile;

We thank you, Sir, for all your care,
It's surely been good measure,
Your zeal, fidelity to the craft,
Within our hearts we'll treasure.

Working Tools

If you would be a mason true,
In prayer and labour now engage,
Refreshment, sleep, apportion right,
O brother, then apply the Gage.

Divest your mind of thoughts impure,
The mysteries of the mind unravel,
Your bodies make a temple of God,
O brother, then take up the Gavel.

To educate the mind and heart,
And understand the symbolism,
The duties to your God and man,
O brother, then employ the Chisel.

All men in the sight of God
Alike and equal, none should marvel,
Your entrance into life proves this,
So meet your brother on the Level.

Your line of conduct, based on Truth
Can never then succumb,
Avoid those acts God would disown,
O brother, then apply the Plumb.

The Working Tools are made to use,
If you the future would prepare,
O brother, then apply yourself,
And set your life upon the Square.

Who Am I? - What Am I?

Of business I am the foundation,
The fount of all great success,
The parent of all true genius,
My one great forte is to bless.

I set the pace of all countries,
For I am prosperity,
In all I lay a foundation
Of durability.

If you would have my blessing
And gain life's greatest end,
Then you must love me greatly,
With me in harmony blend.

I'll make your life full and fruitful,
Yes, all things good are mine,
For the old, the young, the youthful,
All things in life I refine.

Fools hate me, but wise men love me,
The vicious and indolent pass,
Virtue and Truth is my guerdon,
I heavenly blessings amass.

Yes, I am the true Masonry,
For all that is right I stand,
I am the Craft in practice,
With progress on every hand.

I'm the remedy for all evil,
I am the builder of men,
I can bring the poor demented
Back to sound reason again.

I am the hope of the hopeless,
I am the answer to prayer,
I am this world's salvation,
I can all wrongs repair.

I am as seed sown; I grow, spread,
When I am loved all is right,
The God of the world has given me
His power, His truth, His light.

Who am I?, you ask, What am I?,
I am that which no man should shirk,
I'm the hope of the world, I'm its glory,
I am every man's right, I Am WORK.