Category Archives: Hermetic Library arts and letters

This Hermetic Library Arts and Letters pool is a participatory place for sharing poetry, prose, and other written works that are inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition.

Is It Masonry?

Is it Masonry

To dare to take God’s name in vain,

Or be careful of our speech;

From evil thoughts and words refrain,

And practice what we preach?


Is it Masonry

To boast of your fine jewels,

Or purify your heart;

To be a man and Mason

And act a Mason’s part?


Is it Masonry

To fail to help your brothers,

Or your obligations fill?

To leave it for the others,

Or mean and say “I Will”?

— F G Oliver, 1915

The Palace

When I was a King and a Mason—

A Master Proven and skilled—

I cleared me ground for a Palace

Such as a King should build.

I decreed and dug down to my levels;

Presently, under the silt,

I came upon the wreck of a Palace,

Such as a King had built.


There was no worth in the fashion—

There was no wit in the plan;

Hither and thither, aimless,

The ruined footings ran.

Masonry, brute, mishandled,

But carven on every stone,

“After me cometh a Builder;

Tell him I, too, have known.”


Swift to my use in my trenches,

Where my well-planned groundworks grew,

I tumbled his quoins and his ashlars,

And cut and rest them anew.

Lime I milled of his marbles;

Burned it, slacked it, and spread;

Taking and leaving at pleasure

The gifts of the humble dead.


Yet, I despised nor not gloried

Yet, as we wrenched them apart,

I read in the razed foundation

The heart of that builder’s heart.

As he has risen and pleaded,

So did I understand

The form of the dream he had followed

In the face of the thing he had planned.


When I was a King and a Mason,

In the open noon of my pride,

They sent me a Word from the Darkness—

They whispered and called me aside.

They said, “The end is forbidden.”

They said, “Thy use is fulfilled.

Thy Palace shall stand as that other’s—

The spoil of a King who shall build.”


I called my men from my trenches,

My quarries, my wharves, and my sheers;

All I had wrought I abandoned

To the faith of the faithless years.

Only I cut on the timber—

Only I carved on the stone:

“After me cometh a Builder;

Tell him I, too, have known!”

— Rudyard Kipling

The Builders

If in the rearing of an edifice

We form one stone that makes the perfect whole;

To us ‘twould be the beau-ideal of bliss

And prove glad unction to the work-worn soul.

A Temple with proportions just and true

Can but erected be by Masons skilled,

Instructed by an Architect who knew

Exactly how to tell them what to build.

And he taught us—however small the stone—

To plumb and level by th’ unerring Square—

To make it pattern, so that all might own

‘Twas strong and beautiful beyond compare,—

With Chisel and with Gavel we have wrought

To gain “Well Done,”—The Tongue of Good Report.

— Charles F Forshaw, 1916

The Master Degree

Life’s brief moments, swiftly flying,

Speed us near and nearer Death;

Earth and Time are quickly dying,

Passing like a vapour breath.


Earth and all its passions perish,

Time and all its duties cease;

Wealth and power, that mankind cherish,

Bring us here no joy and peace.


Swift, swifter still ar every breath,

Near, and more near, steals silent Death;

Help! help us now, O Thou Most High!

In this dread hour of mystery.

Fellowcraft Degree

Onward moves the whole Creation,

Working out the eternal plan;

Sun and planet, stream and ocean,

Flower and forest, beast and man,

Never resting, ever going

Forward on their destined way;

Spring to Summer-glory growing,

Morn merging into Day.


Forward, Brother, then be going,

To the might of manhood move;

And thy going be ‘t in growing,

And thy growing be ‘t in love.

Apprentice Degree

Through midnight dark I feebly grope my way

Oppressed with fear;

I dread to go, and yet I dare not stay

With danger near;

Eternal Father! guide my feet aright,

And lead me, step by step, up to the Light.


I do not know the secret path I tread

Thro’ scenes unknown,

I humbly wander whither I am led—

Thy power I own;

Eternal Father! guide me through this night,

And lead me, step by step, up to the Light.


The World, its pride and passions, wealth and power,

All, all are gone;

Blind, poor, and weak I trust, in this dread hour,

On Thee alone;

Eternal Father! guide me in Thy Might,

And lead me, step by step, up to the Light.

Announcing the new Arts and Letters pool

I am announcing the new Arts and Letters pool over on the Hrmtc Underground BBS.

Announcing the Hermetic Library Arts and Letters pool


The Hermetic Library Arts and Letters pool is a participatory place for sharing poetry, prose, and other written works that are inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition.

This pool is intended to offer a venue for art and culture that both informs and is informed by esotericism, which will bring the artist and author into the mix. This can be a community space for intentional work from theoretic, practical and cultural perspectives that explores and relates to written work and art about or inspired by esotericism and magick in the form of articles, essays, personal narratives, poetry, fiction, plays, biographies, and more.

Of course, there’s been a category for Arts and Letters on the blog for quite some time, but, until now, there was no formal way to participate in the pool, but by creating this new space on the BBS, it is possible to post submissions, and, like the other Hermetic Library visual, audio and video pools, submissions to this pool may occasionally be featured here on the Hermetic Library blog in the Arts and Letters category.

For this new pool, although it’s already covered in the Terms of Service for the BBS itself, I suppose I should be clear that only one’s own work, work that one has the rights to share, should be added to the new Arts and Letters pool, or, for that matter, any of the participatory pools.

There is no predetermined length, neither minimum nor maximum, for written submissions. However, effort should be made to ensure written work is ‘just so’ for the purpose of the piece, neither overbearingly long nor too cryptically short relative to the subject matter, unless I suppose that is the point. Works of considerable length may be serialized.

Submissions should endeavour to be suitably concise but complete thoughts that are lucid, coherent, consistent, relevant and aesthetic. Obviously creative work has more flexibility in this regard, but in all cases where uncertainty might arise a lucid and informative abstract, or artist statement, will help ensure proper reception of a submission.

There are, of course, a variety of ways you can help support and participate in the work of the library, but now there’s one more! Head on over to the BBS and join the discussions there, including this new Arts and Letters pool.