Table of Contents

Traditional and Anonymous Poems
  1. At Journey's End
  2. Brotherly Love
  3. The Building of Solomon's Temple
  4. The Freemason's Creed
  5. Friendship, Love, And Truth
  6. King Solomon Had His Troubles, Too
  7. The Knife And Fork Degree
  8. Last Night I Knelt Where Hiram Knelt
  9. The Lodge Where I Belong
  10. A Mason And A Man
  11. The Masonic Lodge Structure
  12. The Master Stood And Looked At His Lodge
  13. My Last Degree
  14. Our Masonic Duty
  15. The Past Master
  16. Tell Him Now!
  17. Ten Little Masons
  18. Ten Master Masons
  19. Thoughts of a Mason’s Wife
  20. The Three Great Lights
  21. A Toast To The Lambskin
  22. The Tyler's Ode to Absent Brethren

At Journey's End

The temple has fallen to dust and decay;
The spirit departed, and flown away.
As the waves are silent along the shore,
Your voice is still forevermore.

The wondrous beauty of the sky and tree
In the morning glow, no more will you see.
No more to hear the bird on the wing,
Or with rapture listen to all nature sing.

To smell the rose that perfumes the air
Will never more be yours to share.
The sun has set low in the west,
And now you sleep in eternal rest.

The heart is still within the breast,
No more to love the ones held best.
No, never again will you feel the grip
Of a Master Mason in good fellowship.

This mortal coil you have set aside
For the Celestial Lodge where you now abide.
Your destiny now has been fulfilled,
And you are Home as God has willed.

But still you live in the heart and mind
Of the brethren here that you left behind.
So, rest you well, your labor is o'er,
And we'll meet again on that distant shore.

The website where this was found had only "Brooklyn Lodge No. 454, F. & A.M." listed as the source

Brotherly Love

If you see a brother slipping
When hard luck has come his way;
Do your best to help him,
Think of some kind word to say.

If someone asks about him,
In a casual, off-hand way;
There's lots of good things you remember;
Then say the best that you can say.

Hand to back? Yes, you remember,
Keep that warm spot in your heart,
Now is when he needs your kindness;
Help him get an upward start.

When he tells you of his troubles,
Be a brother, staunch and true.
Do to him as you would have him
In like situation, do to you.

These are just a few suggestions,
We may all keep well in mind,
Should we find a brother slipping
Let's be patient, loving, kind.

[This was found in a small book entitled "Fraternal Poetry and Prose" (1950, 96p.). As with most of the poems in the book, it was unattributed, and an Internet search did not turn it up anywhere else.

The Building of Solomon's Temple

Click on the music to hear the melody.

In history we read of a Freemason King,
The glory of Israel, his praise let us sing!
He who built a great temple, as we understand,
On the Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.

He who conquered Goliath, as in history we find,
And purchased the ground for to raise that design,
Then ordered King Solomon, as he was his son,
To finish the building that he had begun.

King Solomon in order to erect that great plan,
He numbered all the workmen that were in the land.
Seventy thousand to bear burden he them did reserve;
Eighty thousand on the mountain to hew, cut, and carve.

Three thousand six hundred he ordered to be
The masters of workmen for to oversee.
And if you believe me I tell you it's true,
He clothed them all in the orange and blue.

Then straightway to Tyre a letter did send,
Requesting King Hiram for to be his friend;
And finding him willing to grant him relief,
Sent a gay cunning craftsman called Hiram Abif.

He being a son of a widow of the daughters of Dan,
In every particular he acted the man.
In all things put to him he did nothing amiss.
He exceeded them all in the casting of brass.

He cast two great pillars would dazzle your sight,
They were full fifty cubits. He stood them upright,
That all Israel might see them as they went to church.
They stood one on each side of King Solomon's porch.

He cast two great cherubims of immense worth;
They spread forth their wings for to cover the earth.
They stood better there than they would in the field;
They were made by Aholiab and great Bazaleel.

And the molten sea thirty cubits about,
And the brazen oxen without any doubt,
And many's the vessel this Hiram did cast,
And lots of fine vessels I'm sure we have missed.

And the place where he cast them I will explain:
It was in a valley they called Jordan's plain.
Between Succoth and Zarthan that place it was found;
Those vessels were all cast in that clayey ground.

And now the bold craftsmen the stone did it square,
All ready for building before they came there;
And on proper carriages they were all brought down,
That on that great temple no hammer should sound.

They put on the top of that beautiful pile,
There were three golden rods lest the birds should defile,
And a place made for worship in His holy name.
It was all overlaid with the gold of Parvaim.

When the Queen of Sheba she heard of his fame,
She unto King Solomon then instantly came.
The report of his wisdom through the nations did pass,
For he was King Solomon, the grandson of Jess'.

When bright Phoebe in the morning her light doth expel,
Such a beautiful building I'm sure it looked well;
When light stands against light in three ranks doth shine
Such a beautiful temple was ne'er seen in time.

Jerusalem is a city of walls great and high;
It's a wonder to all strangers that do it pass by.
I'm sure it's a type of that vision was seen
On the Isle of Patmos by John the divine.

When our brethren do meet in a lodge for to shine,
Each man he is clothed in a garment so fine;
And likewise our master who sits in the chair,
And rules all our actions by the compass and square.

Then come, all my dear brethren, join chorus with me.
Here's a health to all masons that's honest and free!
King Solomon's wisdom and Hiram's also -
Come, fill up our glass! Let us drink, then we'll go.

The Freemason's Creed

To look, in the light of reason,
to the gracious Being above
As the infinite source of wisdom,
and the source of infinite love
To follow in full submission
wherever His will may lead.
Such is the Mason's mission,
and such is the Mason's Creed.
To trust in His infinite justice,
in the light of His word, which saith:
"I am thy Father in heaven,"
such is the Mason's faith.
That the spirit of love may guide him,
wherever his feet may fare.
Such is the Mason's wish and hope,
and such is his constant prayer.

[This was found in a small book entitled "Fraternal Poetry and Prose" (1950, 96p.) where it was attributed to Anon., and an Internet search did not turn it up anywhere else.

Reportedly embossed on an antique drinking cup in the museum of the Freemasons Hall, London, England.

Friendship, Love, And Truth

When Friendship, Love and Truth abound
Among a band of brothers,
The cup of joy goes gayly round,
Each shares the bliss of others.
Sweet roses grace the thorny way
Along this vale of sorrow;
The flowers that shed their leaves today
Shall bloom again tomorrow.
How grand in age, how fair in youth
Are Holy Friendship, Love and Truth.

King Solomon Had His Troubles, Too!

We take you back in history,
Three Thousand years in span,
To One revered by Masonry
King Solomon, the man.

He took an Apron and a Trowel,
A Compass and a Square,
And with a royal, firm avowal,
He raised a Temple fair.

He fashioned us a way of life,
Of love and brotherhood,
That stretched beyond his country's strife;
A Plumb-line road for good.

But then, within his palace walls,
His problems were immense:
A thousand wives who roamed his halls;
Imagine the expense!

How could he ever keep in mind
Each anniversary day?
If we would seek the truth, we'd find
That the man had heck to pay!

His problems mounted by the score
With every brand new bride;
How could he ever walk the floor
With every babe that cried?

He must have tightened many a veil
To quiet nagging tongues.
But that would be to no avail
With healthy female lungs.

Yes, Solomon must have had his share
Of trial and tribulation.
Just one wife needs a lot of care;
He married a whole nation!

He must have built that temple for
A little peace and quiet,
Where he could go and close the door
Against that female riot.

A woman's always had her say,
We know that to be true;
The only thing that's changed today —
We share the Temple, Too.

The Knife And Fork Degree

This poem may have been identified. Whether or not it has been, the subject has been granted its own theme page, and so this poem can now be found with other takes on the Knife And Fork Degree.

The Lodge Where I Belong

Though my lodge may lack the splendour
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 fair!

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 friendships quite so strong
As those one always find right here
In the Lodge where I belong.

When all my earthly travels end,
And at last I'm borne to rest
Where mortals 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
Than to meet with all the Brothers
Of the Lodge Where I Belong.

Last Night I Knelt Where Hiram Knelt

Last night I knelt where Hiram knelt
and took an obligation.
Today I'm closer to my God
for I'm a Master Mason.

Though heretofore my fellow men
seemed each one like the other,
Today I search each one apart.
I'm looking for my brother.

And as I feel his friendly grip
it fills my heart with pride.
I know while I am on the square
that he is by my side.

His footsteps on my errand go
if I should such require.
His prayers will lead in my behalf
if I should so desire.

My words are safe within his breast
as though within my own,
His hand forever at my back
to help me safely home.

Good counsel whispers in my ear
and warns of any danger.
By square and compass, Brother now
who once would call me stranger.

I might have lived a moral life
and risen to distinction
Without my Brothers helping hand
and the fellowship of Masons.

But God, who knows how hard it is
to resist life's temptations,
Knows why I knelt where Hiram knelt
and took that obligation.

A Mason And A Man

My Brother, Masonry means much more
Then the wearing of a pin.
Or carrying a paid-up dues receipt
So the Lodge will let you in.

You may wear an emblem on your coat
From your finger flash a ring.
But if you're not sincere at heart
This doesn't mean a thing.

It's merely an outward sign to show
The world that you belong
To this great fraternal brotherhood
That teaches right from wrong.

What really counts lies buried deep
Within the human breast
Till Masonic teaching brings it out
And puts it to the test.

If you practise out of Lodge
The things that you learn within
Be just and upright to yourself
And to your fellowmen.

Console a brother when he's sick
And assist him when in need
Without a thought of personal reward
For any act or deed.

Walk and act in such a way
That the world without can see
That only the best can meet the test
Laid down by Masonry

Be always faithful to your trust
And do the best that you can
Then you can proudly tell the world
You're a Mason and a Man

[a similar poem is Then You're A Mason.okl.]

The Masonic Lodge Structure

Leaps tall buildings in a single bound
Is more powerful than an Intercity Express
Is faster than a speeding bullet
Walks on Water
Gives policy to God

Leaps short buildings with a single bound
Is more powerful than a goods train
Is just as fast as a speeding bullet
Walks on the water if the sea is calm
Talks with God

Leaps short buildings with a running start and a favorable wind
Is almost as powerful as a goods train
Is faster than a speeding airgun pellet
Walks on water of a swimming pool
Talks with God if special dispensation is given

Barely clears a garden hut
Loses a tug-of-war with a train
Can fire a speeding bullet
Swims well
Is occasionally addressed by God

Makes high marks on the wall when trying to leap buildings
Is run over by trains
Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury
Doggie paddles
Talks with the animals

Runs into buildings
Recognizes trains two out of three times
Is not issued ammunition
Can stay afloat with a life vest
Talks to walls

Falls over doorsteps when trying to enter buildings
Says "Look at the choo choo's"
Wets himself with a water pistol
Plays in mud puddles
Mumbles to himself

Lifts buildings and walks under them
Kicks trains off the track
Catches speeding bullets in his mouth and eats them
Freezes water with a single glance

The Master Stood And Looked At His Lodge

The Master stood and looked at his Lodge,
The same old few were there,
The ones he knew he could depend upon
The work of the Lodge to share.

But where are the many we've raised these years,
Who craved to be Masons true?
To whom we've given so much of our time
In degree work, guiding them through.

The Master stood and looked at his Lodge
And silently he thought:
Where have we failed that they're not here
In spite of the truth we taught?

Did they really want friendship and brotherly love
As they claimed when they knocked at our door?
Or did they just join, our symbol to wear,
And so won't come out any more?

The Master stood and looked at his Lodge
And said to the same old few:
"Come, Brothers, let's get them back -
Come, we have work to do!

And they went to work on the stay-at-homes,
And their efforts began to tell;
Old faces and new came out again,
And attendance started to swell.

The Master stood and looked at his Lodge,
No longer worried and blue;
His sheep were back in the fold again,
Sharing the work we all must do.

My Last Degree

An old man lay sick in the Masonic Home.
His face was as wan as the white sea foam.
His eyes were dim, his hair was gray,
His back was bent with the trials of the way.
He faltering spoke, but I heard him say,
"I'm ready for my last degree."

"I've come to the end of the level of time
That leads us all to that Grand Lodge sublime
From whose borne none ever return.
More light in Masonry there I shall learn
By an Altar where light shall evermore shine,
I'm ready for my last degree.

"With the Apprentice's gauge, I've divided my time
Into three equal parts since life's early prime.
And this I have found amidst life's great turmoil,
My wages are due me, in Corn, Wine and Oil.
I'm ready for my last degree.

"Each day from life's quarries, I've hewn a stone,
With the gavel I've shaped them, each one alone,
And shipped them along beyond that bright stand,
To build me a house in that great better land.
A spiritual house not made with hands.
I'm ready for my last degree.

"I've squared each stone by the virtue square,
And plumbed them all true, as I shipped them there.
With the compass I've measured the Master's designs
And kept within due bounds, with his points and his lines.
My blue prints are folded, I've answered his signs.
I'm ready for my last degree.

"The mortar I've made, from friendship and love,
To be spread with the Master's trowel up above.
My apron is worn, but its surface is white.
My working tools now will be cold and quiet.
My Trestle Board's bare, and I'm going tonight.
I'm ready for my last degree."

A few moments later, the old man was dead.
And I fancy that I could see his soul as it fled,
Upward and onward, to the great door,
Where he gave an alarm, and a voice did implore.
The old man gave his answer with these words once more,
"I'm ready for my last degree."

That night in a Lodge, free from all strife and storm,
He took that degree, his last in due form.
So may I live like he did, to build, day by day,
A spiritual house in that land far away.
So I, when I meet my Grand Master I can say,
"I'm ready for my last degree."

[Those who have been truly raised as Master Masons will see something deeper in this poem. For those outside the craft, the "ciphered" letters refer to the Five Points of Fellowship, a symbolic reprising of how Masons should relate to one another. Since the exact litany differs in some rituals from others, the author was able to double up variant versions and fit balanced sets into the final stanza. Holding your mouse over the colored letters will reveal how they are supposed to be read, if you're in any doubt.

Our Masonic Duty

F. to F., that we should go
When sickness brings a brother low,
To cheer him on his bed of pain,
And nurse him back to health again.

K. to K., whene'er we pray,
At early morn, or close of day,
A brother's name should claim a share,
In every thought and every prayer.

B. to B., be still to keep
A brother's secrets hidden deep,
To all the world but us unknown,
And hold them sacred as your own.

H. to B., with firmest grasp,
Encircling arms and friendly clasp,
We should be found at duty's call
To stay a brother's tottering fall.

M. to E., whene'er we find
To err a brother is inclined,
We'll council give in gentlest tone
And breathe it to his ear alone.

Then F. to F. and K. to K.
True brothers we should ever be;
With H. to B. and B. to B.,
Each striving still to do his best,
We'll whisper words of hope and cheer,
With C. to C. and M. to E.

The Past Master

This poem has been identified! It was by Walter Belt

Tell Him Now!

If with pleasure you are viewing
any work a brother's doing;
If you like him or admire him,
tell him now!
Don't withhold your approbation
till the parson's grave oration
As he lies with snowy lilies
o'er his brow.

Then no matter how you shout it
he won't really care about it —
He won't know how many teardrops
you have shed.
If you think some praise is due him
now's the time to tell it to him -
For he cannot read his tombstone
once he's dead.

More than fame and more than money
is the comment, kind and sunny,
And the unmistaken handshake
of a friend.
For it gives to life a savour,
and it makes you stronger, braver,
And it gives you heart and spirit
to the end.

If he earns your praise - bestow it,
if you like him let him know it,
Give the hearty, warm approval
you can say.
Don't make him wait till life is over
and he is underneath the clover,
Voice the words of true encourage-
ment today!

Brother Jim Morrison of Joppa Lodge 112 of Whiterock British Columbia, Canada submitted this piece. He believes that it was done by someone over in Toronto and is a classic. Oh that it always worked this way!

Ten Little Masons

Ten little Masons went to the Lodge when fine,
But it started raining and then there was only nine

Nine little Masons thought TV was great,
One thought he'd stay at home, then there was only eight.

Eight little Masons to the Lodge were driven,
Until the car broke down, then there was only seven.

Seven little Masons, really solid bricks,
One got keen on golfing, then there was only six.

Six little Masons went on an evening drive,
One started to complain, then there was only five.

Five little Masons seemed loyal to the core,
Till one shirked his Office, then there was only four.

Four little Masons quarreled bitterly,
Over something very small, then there was only three.

Three little Masons seen degrees right through,
One said I'm fed up, now there was only two.

Two little Masons, argued who should run,
The Lodge's Social Function then there was only one.
One faithful Mason, he knew just what to do,
He got a friend to come to Lodge, now they were two.

Two happy Masons brought along two more,
So the number's doubled , now they were four.

Four busy Masons simply couldn't wait,
They soon found four others, now they where eight.

Eight eager Masons, searching round for Brothers,
Their example, and their work, brought out many others.

Crowds of first-rate Masons, filling every seat,
Come on Brothers, join us now, and make our Lodge complete.

The version above isn't the only take on this trope. Here's another one I've seen on various websites, copied here from St.Thomas District of Ontario. It's amazing how similar in form they are while still being so different in particulars.

Ten Master Masons

Ten Master Masons, happy doing fine;
One listened to a rumour then there were nine.

Nine Master Masons, faithful, never late;
One didn’t like the Master then there were eight.

Eight Master Masons on their way to Heaven;
One joined too many clubs then there were seven.

Seven Master Masons, life dealt some hard licks:
One grew discouraged then there were six.

Six Master Masons all very much alive;
One lost his interest then there were five.

Five Master Masons wishing they were more;
They got into a great dispute then there were four.

Four Master Masons busy as could be;
One didn’t like the programs then there were three.

Three Master Masons, was one of them you?
One grew tired of all the work then there were two.

Two Master Masons with so much to be done;
One said, “What’s the use?” then there was one.
One Master Mason found a brother true;
Brought him to the lodge then there were two.

Two Master Masons didn’t find the work a bore;
Each brought another one then there were four.

Four Master Masons saved their lodges’ fate;
By showing others kindness then there were eight.

Eight Master Masons loved their lodges’ sheen;
Talked so much about it they soon were sixteen.

Sixteen Master masons to their obligation true;
All were very pleased when they grew to thirty-two.
So we can’t put our troubles at the lodges’ door;
It’s our fault for harming the lodge we adore.
Don’t fuss about the programs or the ‘Master’ in the East;
Keep your obligation by serving even the very least.

Thoughts of a Mason’s Wife

How many wives of Masons
have ever given much thought,
To the wonderful biblical lessons
that Masonry has taught?
Have you asked yourself this question,
when you sat alone at night,
While hubby was away at Lodge:
"is my reasoning straight and right?"
I know the nights are lonely and long,
but this thought occurred to me,
"If my husband weren’t a Mason,
what kind of man would he be?”

They call us Masonic Widows;
I’ve been one for many a year.
I’ve spoken my piece on lonely nights
and berated my hubby dear.
But then again I regret my words,
and with wisdom try to see,
“If my husband weren’t a Mason,
what kind of man would he be?”

I know nothing of their secret work,
but this much I understand.
That the lessons taught in Masonry
have made him a better man.
So, ask yourself this question,
which has always come to me,
“If my husband weren’t a Mason,
what kind of man would he be?”

So I try to be a patient wife,
as alone I meditate,
And see his point, as he leaves for Lodge,
with these words, “I won’t be late!”
Some say that men make Masonry,
and this I understand,
But, deep in my heart I still maintain,
“that Masonry makes the Man.”
As we journey life's highway together,
to the inner dreams of life,
May he be a Mason forever.
Sincerely, ‘A Mason’s Wife’.

This is a composite Owen compiled in February 2006 of several versions found on the Net, the earliest one dated February 1993.

The Three Great Lights

The Three Great Lights will guide our steps

Through life's uncertain way,
And bring us safe at length to see
The bright, eternal day.

The Holy Book our fathers read
With undimmed faith, today
Makes clear our sight, that we may know
Its precepts to obey.

With Square of virtue, try our acts
And make them meet the test;
There is no other cause that leads
To the Islands of the Blest.

Between the lines that represent
The long and shortest day,
Keep circumscribed by Compasses
That we go not astray.

The Three Great Lights will guide our steps
Through life's uncertain way,
And bring us safe at length to see
The bright, eternal day.

A Toast To The Lambskin

The author of this poem has been identified! And several additional verses were also discovered. See The White Leather Apron by Franklyn W. Lee.

This is a traditional song sung in many lodges with variations, and under different titles: "Harmony of Lewis Lodge", "Ode to the Absent Brethren", "The Tyler's Ode". It has been used since at least the 1970s, and quite possibly since the 18th century. Music for this song, and a couple very Christian variants, can be found at Cumbrian Lodge.

The Tyler's Ode

Architect, for thy protection
Now we humbly pray,
Guard and comfort all our brethren
Far away.

Grant that we in true remembrance
May not be remiss;
Let them know that in this hour 'tis
Them we miss;

May the bonds that binds them to us
Strengthen day by day,
Let them know our thoughts are with them
On their way.

If their absence be through wandering
Or through grief or pain,
Bless them, heal them, bring them to us
Safe again.

Following the singing of the Ode, the Tyler's Toast is then proposed by the Tyler standing and the rest all seated in silence:

"To all poor and distressed Masons,
wherever dispersed over the face of earth or water;
wishing them a speedy relief from all their sufferings,
and a safe return to their native country if they so desire."

Brotherly Love

If you see a brother slipping
When hard luck has come his way;
Do your best to help him,
Think of some kind word to say.

If someone asks about him,
In a casual, off-hand way;
There's lots of good things you remember;
Then say the best that you can say.

Hand to back? Yes, you remember,
Keep that warm spot in your heart,
Now is when he needs your kindness;
Help him get an upward start.

When he tells you of his troubles,
Be a brother, staunch and true.
Do to him as you would have him
In like situation, do to you.

These are just a few suggestions,
We may all keep well in mind,
Should we find a brother slipping
Let's be patient, loving, kind.

This was found in a booklet entitled "Fraternal Poetry and Prose" (1950). As with most of the poems in the book, it was unattributed, and an Internet search did not turn it up anywhere else.