Mason Marks

They’re traced in lines on the Parthenon,

Inscribed by the subtle Greek;

And Roman legions have carved them on

Walls, roads and arch antique;

Long ere the Goth, with vanal hand,

Gave scope to his envy dark,

The Mason craft in many a land

Has graven its Mason mark.

 

The obelisk old and the pyramids,

Around which a mystery clings,—

The Hieroglyphs on the coffin lids

Of weird Egyptian kings,—

Syria, Carthage and Pompeii,

Buried and strewn and stark,

Have marble records that will not die,

Their primitive Mason mark.

 

Upon column and frieze and capital,

In the eye of the caste volute,—

On Scotia’a curve, or an astrogal,

Or in triglyp’s channel acute,—

Cut somewhere on the entablature,

And oft, like a sudden spark,

Flashing a light on a date obscure,

Shines many a Mason mark.

 

These craftsmen old had genial whim,

That nothing could e’er destroy,

With a love of their art that naught could dim,

They toiled with a chronic joy;

Nothing was too complex to essay,

In aught they dashed to embark;

They triumphed on many an Appian Way,

Where they’d left their Mason mark.

 

Crossing the Alps like Hannibal,

Or skirting the Pyrenees,

On peak and plain, in crypt and cell,

On foot or on bandaged knees;—

From Tiber to Danube, from Rhine to Seine,

They needed no “letters of marque;”—

Their art was their passport in France and Spain,

And in Britain their Mason mark.

 

The monolith gray and Druid chair,

The pillars and towers of Gael,

In Ogham occult their age they bear,

That time can only reveal.

Live on, old monuments of the part,

Our beacons through ages dark!

In primal majesty still you’ll last,

Endeared by each Mason mark.

— Anonymous