Here in a lodge of pines I sit;
The canopy thrown over it
Is heaven’s own of very blue;
Due east and west its precincts lie
And always the all-seeing eye
Of summer’s sun is shining through.
Its portals open to the west;
The chipmunk gray and sober dressed,
The tyler is: You see him dodge
To challenge every new alarm:
He has no sword upon his arm
But well he guards this secret lodge.
Out master is that giant pine
Who bends o’er us with mein divine
To keep the lodge in order trim:
His wardens are two gray-beard birch
Who sit like elders in a church
Or make decorous bows to him.
The deacons are two slender trees,
Who move about whene’er the breeze
Brings orders from the master’s seat;
Our organist? Where thickest glooms
Are darkening in the pine top’s plumes
The brother winds out music beat.
Whoever knocks upon the door
To learn the ancient wildwood lore,
That one he is our candidate:
We strip him of his city gear,
And meet him on the level here,
Then to our ways initiate.
We slip the hoodwink from his eye
And bid him look on earth and sky
To read the hieroglyphics there;
More ancient these than Golden Fleece
Or Roman Eagle, Tyre, or Greece,
Or Egypt old beyond compare.
On grass and stone and flower and sod
Is written down by hand of God
The secrets of this Masonry;
Who has the hoodwink from his eyes
May in these common things surprise
The awful signs of Deity.
Here bird and plant and man and beast
Are seeking their Eternal East:
And here in springtime may be heard,
By him who doth such teachings seek
With praying heart, and wise, and meek,
The thundering of the old Lost World.
All things that in creation are
From smallest fly to largest star,
In this fellowship may be
For all that floweth out from Him,
From dust to man and seraphim
Belong to God’s freemasonry.
— H L Haywood, from The Builder, December 1918