Run your mouse over these squares and compasses.
How quickly can you tell what Masonic phrase this rebus represents?

Proceedings of the Masonic Poets Society #9

November 2008

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. New Books on the Site
  3. Initiation by Charles R. Dunning, Jr
  4. Grandpa’s Wooden Chest by Jack Sutton
  5. Masons Shall Live In Their Sons from Illustrations of Masonry
  6. Heart And Hand In Support Of The Chair from The Universal Songster


It's been a few se'nweeks since the last issue in May of this year. Still no one has volunteered to become the new editor for this online publication. Time for the June issue came around, and I was so depressed by the lack of any response to the previous three issues that I just let it slide, to see if missing an issue might do it. It didn't. I let the July issue slide also. But some time in July, a problem developed on the website, so that I couldn't upload any new material! I still haven't found out what the problem is, so I've set up a mirror site at . Until the problem is resolved, this will be the site where all new updates will be posted, while the site at remains frozen at July 2008. Putting out a September issue was moot, since I hadn't yet given up on regaining access to the website, and so hadn't set up the alternate site yet. Meanwhile, while no one has volunteered for any of the several jobs we need done, more poems have been flowing in, as you'll see in this issue! If you're reading this in your e-mail, you're only seeing the flat text of the issue. Check it out on the website at and you'll see a fancier version, including a graphics game at the top of the page.

Quite a few changes have been made to the website. The index pages have been rearranged again, so that the site now opens to a home page instead of to the Authors Index page. And since the index pages are now so long that they load slowly, a graphic overlay of our logo will now appear while the site is loading, and vanish once the loading is completed. Please don't think it is slowing down the loading. It's simple HTML coding that takes practically no time at all, but set to stay in place until the last of the page has loaded.

Also added to the website is a link to the Online Websters Dictionary (OWD) site. You won't find it anywhere, because it's everywhere. Simply double-click on any word on any page throughout the entire site, and a pop-up window will open with the dictionary. We'll still red-light obscure words with our own comments that will pop up just by rolling your mouse over them. The OWD site is one we've just discovered, and highly recommend. They provided the code for the pop-up window, but we've modified it so that the search boxes on the home and index pages use it to reach either Google or Yahoo. And we plan on adding an option to the customization page allowing you to switch to various other dictionaries instead of OWD if you wish for the double-click feature.

Shortly before the website locked up last July, a submissions page was added. Testers were asked to try it out, but no one did for the longest time. When someone finally did, it was found to fail completely. But by then, the site was inaccessible for alterations, so we were unable to fix or take down the faulty page. If you sent anything via that page, no one ever received it, so please resend it by e-mail. There is a revised submission page on the new site which has been tested, but not throughly, so please give it a try so we can verify it works from a wider range of computers than we've been able to test it on on our own.


P.S. Almost forgot the give you the solution for the rebus puzzle.

New Books on the Site

Only two new song books this time around, but both are somewhat special.

Illustrations of Masonry was written by William Preston in 1772. It went through many editions, and most included slightly different song collections than the previous one. The last edition we found was the 1829 revision by George Oliver. We located 5 different editions in various places on the web, and combined all the songs from all editions to make a single comprehensive songbook unique to the Masonic Poets Society! All together now the are 68 songs, though no individual volume had more than 45 at most.

The Universal Songster, or, Museum of Mirth is the second songbook, compiled in 1825 by John Fairburn. This was a popular parlor songbook, not just a Masonic one, so it contained a wide variety of songs and poems. The "Museum of Mirth" part of the title refers to the book containing not only songs, but often the entire vaudeville routines they were part of. There were also songs for the Odd Fellows and other clubs, which we decided to include for several reasons. One is shared heritage; even though we were/are competitors, we all still stand apart from the surrounding culture in much the same ways. Adaptability is another, since many songs written for one group can be, and have been, used by others with only slight modifications. Third is that sometimes they give us an enlightening look at how we are seen by others. And some are just good songs encouraging wise fraternal principles. The Anacreontic Society, Sons of Harmony, and others were what today we'd probably call karaoke clubs, and parodying them gave vaudeville players a good excuse to sing medleys of comic songs. Several of these medley routines have been included, as well as real songs from the Harmony clubs.


Charles R. Dunning, Jr.
Haltom City-Riverside Lodge #1331,
Grand Lodge of Texas.

Awakening in the night's dark midst,
From dreamless sleep we hear a call.
Then wrapped in silent deep blue mist
We pass into an ancient hall.

About us hung in golden frames,
And peering from mosaic tiles,
Loom kindred faces lit by flames
Reflected in their knowing smiles.

Around the crown in bas relief
Are carved their mythic memories,
Their wars and quests, their joy and grief,
Their treks across the emerald seas.

Great sacrifices they have made,
Preparing this old hallowed place,
Securing with both love and blade
This Temple filled with art and grace.

Through adytum and portico
Soft voices echo from each wall.
The epic songs from Muses flow
That eons hence we'll still recall.

Those mortals from the Earth's damp sod,
Their fruitful legends now grown ripe,
Have each transformed into a god,
The icon of an archetype.

Within their gaze we cross the floor
To pursue our spirit's mission.
Past azure veils a pearly door
Guards the font of all tradition.

With simple faith we strike the knocks
That sound a driven seeker's plea.
With thunderous quakes the cosmic locks
Shake down each soul to bended knee.

The portal opens with a knell
Into the depths of virgin space,
And here dumbfounded we must dwell
Upon an ageless profiled Face.

There from its clear Eternal Eye
A cascade of light comes streaming;
As from a prism bright rays fly,
To illuminate God's dreaming.

Now on this rainbow span of light
We find our fitting harmonies,
Wherein our flames of will ignite
And dance upon the heavenly breeze.

Thus drawn within one colored swell
We let the current carry us
Back toward where our sparks once fell,
Though now with renewed consciousness.

Returning through our heroes' shrine
We sense the rally of their souls,
And joining with their lodge divine
Our names are added to its rolls.

Beneath the brightest of all moons,
Across the mighty banks of time,
They pass to us their greatest boons
That we may do the Work Sublime.

So exiting our Sanctum's porch,
Once more upon our odysseys,
We bear with us a sacred torch,
A mystic word and magic keys.

Now sailing back through night's black mist,
As the Great Architect so deems,
We stir in morning's amethyst
To rise awake in daylight dreams.

July, 2008

Grandpa’s Wooden Chest

A Charge in Verse

Jack Sutton

I hated to hear the lawyer say
The things my grandpa gave away.
Like his old truck to Dad and Mom,
And World War medals to Uncle John.
My name was called and something was said
About an old wooden box underneath his bed.

Just a worn out chest with a rusty hinge,
But I knew Grandpa left something special within.
When I opened the lid all I could see
Were some unused tools and a letter to me.
A large fancy cloth with two long strings
A small wooden hammer, among other things.

He wrote,

"A man's job is to be a good husband, father, and a friend;
I built my life as best I could by the tools laid here within.
And now it's your turn to start your journey – for knowledge, love and faith –
So live your life by the Square and Compasses and tools of your trade.

"The compasses remind me that life has boundaries, so live your life within.
The square proves true and so should you, when dealing with all your friends.
Be an honorable man and walk uprightly, according to the plumb.
The level teaches us treat all men equal, instead of only some."

Many years have passed by since I first opened Grandpa’s wooden chest;
The tools he gave me, the words he wrote, the challenge to be my best.
Today I’ll visit Grandpa at the place where he was laid
To let him know he can be proud I’m a Master of my trade.

Masons Shall Live In Their Sons

from Illustrations of Masonry

This song mentions some of the other social clubs extant in 1796.

As long as our coast shall with whiteness appear,
Still Masons stand foremost in verse;
While Harmony, Friendship, and Joys are held dear,
New bands shall our praises rehearse.

Though lodges less favoured, less happy, decay,
Destroyed by old Time as he runs;
Though Albions, Gregorians, and Bucks, fade away,
Still Masons shall live, shall live in their sons.

If Envy attempt our success to impede,
United we'll trample her down;
If Faction should threaten, we'll show we're agreed,
And Discord shall own we are one.

While with ardour we glow this our Order to raise,
Promoting its welfare and peace,
Old Masons return our endeavours to praise,
And new ones confirm the increase.

Go on, cry our parents, for Time is your friend,
His flight shall increase your renown;
And Mirth shall your guest be, and Bacchus attend,
And joy all your meetings shall crown.

Heart And Hand In Support Of The Chair

from The Universal Songster

Here's an example of an Odd Fellows song, which tells us something of the mileu for social clubs in 1825.

Let Freemasons boast of their early got fame,
And what trials their lodges have stood,
Let sage Druids boast how ancient their name.
Yet I'll prove Odd-fellows as good.
There's the Sols and the Bucks with their pageants look gay,
Still, Odd-fellows more useful have been;
For in honour and fame they still lead the way,
As in history's now to be seen,
So then let Odd-fellows to mirth now incline.
As our plan is to drive away care,
Come, brothers, unite and cheerful combine
Heart and hand in support of the chair.

That Adam was odd, you all will agree,
As he knew not the day of his birth;
In the garden of Paradise placed was he,
His companions the fruit of the earth.
Happy Adam had been if odd he'd remained,
For while an Odd-fellow was he,
Nought but happiness knew till a helpmate was framed,
And deceived by the fruit of the tree.
Thus I prove father Adam our patron to be,
And while odd that he never knew care,
Yet I bow with respect to the virtuous and good.
Heart and hand in support of the fair.

Shakspeare an Odd-fellow was has clearly been proved,
For his equal has never been found,
Garrick an odd-fellow was, by all sects beloved.
As his talents, sirs, never knew bound;
Great Nelson was odd in his fighting at sea,
For his country he died as he lived,
His glory untarnished, his principles free,
His memory cherished and loved;
Come join, brothers all, — in a bumper we'll give
The navy, and success to the fair!
And may all worthy fellows still die but to live,
Here's the king, and support to the chair!

The world it is odd, and old Time, as he flies,
Is keeping an odd sort of date;
Then remember to act both merry and wise,
And be even with justice and fate.
Let our actions still prove the mind of the man,
Though odd in our manners we be;
To repel all invaders, still be it our plan,
While our tars reign lords of the sea;
May Health still attend our father, the King,
May you and I banish old Care;
Whilst, united and firm, we cheerfully sing —
Heart and hand, in support of the chair.

Bard Owen Lorion,
on behalf of the Masonic Poets Society