Tag Archives: arts and letters

Let There Be Light!

Brother, kneel before the altar,

In silence grave.

Show no weakness. Do not falter

Like cowan knave.

Honest brethren stand around you,

With heart and hand,

Ready to encourage, aid you,

A noble band.

Here you need not fear deception—

All are true—

Every brother here assembled

Knelt like you.

With throbbing hearts they silent listen

To your voice,

As you tell in earnest whisper,

Your free choice.

Gently loose the new made brother

From his cord,

He is bound by stronger fetters,

On God’s Word.

Hearken to the Master’s language:

“Pray for Light,”

Responsive voices chant the echo:

“Let there be Light.”

Welcome, brother, to our household,

You are Free;

May it ever prove a blessing

Unto thee.

Cummings, 1894

The Five Points Symbolism

Foot to foot that we may go,

Where our help we can bestow;

Pointing out the better way,

Lest our brothers go astray.

Thus our steps should always lead

To the souls that are in need.


Knee to knee, that we may share

Every brother’s needs in prayer:

Giving all his wants a place,

When we seek the throne of grace.

In our thoughts from day to day

For each other we should pray.


Breast to breast, to there conceal,

What our lips must not reveal;

When a brother does confide,

We must by his will abide.

Mason’s secrets to us known,

We must cherish as our own.


Hand to hand, our love to show

To the brother, bending low:

Underneath a load of care,

Which we may and ought to share.

That the weak may always stand,

Let us lend a helping hand.


Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear,

That our lips may whisper cheer,

To our brother in distress:

Whom our words can aid and bless.

Warn him if he fails to see,

Dangers that are known to thee.


Foot to foot, and knee to knee,

Breast to breast, as brothers we:

Hand to back and mouth to ear,

Then what mystic word we hear,

Which we otherwise conceal,

But on these five points reveal.

N A McAulay, 1916

The Model Mason

There’s a fine old Mason in the land, he’s genial, wise and true,

His list of brothers comprehends, dear brothers, me and you;

So warm his heart the snow blast fails to chill his generous blood,

And his hand is like a giant’s when outstretched to man or God;—

Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, has checked his course or dimmed his fame—

All honor his name!


This fine old Mason is but one of a large family:

In every lodge you’ll find his kin, you’ll find them two or three;

You’ll know them when you see them, for they have their father’s face,

A generous knack of speaking truth and doing good always;—

Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, has checked his course or dimmed his fame—

Freemason is their name!


Ah, many an orphan smiles upon the kindred as they pass;

And many a widow’s prayers confess the sympathizing grace;

The Father of this Brotherhood himself is joyed to see

Their works—they’re numbered all in Heaven, those deeds of charity!

Reproach nor blame, nor any shame, has checked his course or dimmed his fame—

All honor their name!

Robert Morris

Freemason’s March

Come, let us, prepare,

We brothers that are

Met together on merry Occasion;

Let us drink, laugh and sing,

Our Wine has a Spring,

‘Tis a Health to an Accepted Mason.

The World is in Pain

Our Secret to gain,

But still let them wonder and gaze on;

Till they’re shewn the Light

They’ll never know the right

Word or sign of an Accepted Mason.

‘Tis This and ’tis That,

They cannot tell what,

Why so many great Men in the Nation

Should Aprons put on,

To make themselves one

With a Free and Accepted Mason.

Great Kings, Dukes, and Lords,

Have laid by their Swords,

This out Myst’ry to put a good Grace on,

And ne’er been asham’d

To hear themselves nam’d

With a Free or an Accepted Mason.

Antiquity’s Pride

We have on our Side,

It makes a Man Just in his Station;

There’s nought but what’s Good

To be understood

By a Free or an Accepted Mason.

Then Joyn Hand in Hand,

T’each other firm stand,

Let’s be merry, and put a bright Face on;

What Mortal can boast

So noble a Toast,

As a Free or an Accepted Mason?

First printed in Watt’s Musical Miscellany, 1730

The Goddess of Masonry

Goddess of Purity,

Spotless and rare;

Emblem of Charity

Unsullied, fair;

Symbol of Meekness—

Radiant, bright,

‘Minding the Brethren

Of realms of Light—

Strong in the knowledge

Virtuous might.


Symbol of Chasity,

Spirit of Bliss,

Coming to cheer us,

Through the abyss,

Token of faithfulness—

Be thou our guide;

Emblem of Hopefulness—

Keep by our side:

Help us and lead us o’er

Every dark tide!

Charles F Forshaw

The Mason’s Pledge

Brother, harken, while I tell you

What we Masons pledge to do,

When, prepared at yonder altar,

We assumed the Mason’s vow!

Foot and knee, breast, hand and cheek—

Harken while I make them speak!


Foot to foot, on mercy’s errand,

When we hear a brother’s cry,

Hungry, thirsty, barefoot, naked,

With God’s mercy let us fly.

This of all our thoughts the chief,

How to give him quick relief.


Knee to knee in earnest praying,

None but God to hear or heed,

All our woes and sins confessing,

Let us for each other plead;

By the spirit of our call,

Let us pray for brothers all.


Breast to breast, in sacred casket,

At life’s center let us seal

Every truth to us entrusted,

Nor one holy thing reveal!

What a Mason vows to shield,

Let him die, but never yield.


Hand to back, a brother’s falling,

Look, his burdens are too great.

Stretch the generous hand and hold him

Up before it is too late.

The right arm’s a friendly prop,

Made to hold a brother up.


Cheek to cheek, in timely whisper

When the tempter strives to win,

Urge the brother’s bounden duty,

Show him the approaching sin,

Point to him the deadly snare,

Save him with a brother’s care.


Brother, let us often ponder

What we Masons pledged to do,

When, prepared at yonder altar,

We assumed the Mason’s vow;

Foot and knee, breast, hand and cheek,

Let these oft our duties speak.


Robert Morris

Masonic Ode

O! glorious Builder of the vaulted skies!

Almighty Architect of Earth and Heaven!

Come down and bless the Mason’s enterprise,

To Thee, O God, in Faith and Mercy given.

A home to Friendship, Truth, and Love we raise,

Where, ages yet to come, shall sound our Master’s praise.


O make its deep foundations firm and fast!

O bless the rearing of the mighty pile!

And when to Thee its spires look up at last,

Upon its finished work, the workmen smile!

Nor less the inner work of kindness bless!

And make the Mason’s labor—peace and happiness!


Enlarge our spirit!—let our means improve!

Enforce our faith!—make strong our mystic ties!

Exalt our friendship, and refine our love!

And let our hearts be pure before Thine eyes,

So that, while God approves, the world may see

How great and good a thing is Ancient Freemasonry!


Aid us to wipe the widow’s bitter tears!

Help us to hear the orphan’s lonely cries!

Be present when we soothe a Brother’s cares!

And be our strength in all calamities!

For what can we as one, or many, do,

Unless, O Lord! with Thee, our labors we pursue!


O! therefore, Builder of the vaulted skies!

Almighty Architect of Earth and Heaven!

Come down and bless our holy enterprise,

To Thee, O God, in Faith and Mercy given.

A home to Friendship, Truth and Love we raise,

Where, ages yet to come, shall sound our Master’s praise.


J K Mitchell on the occasion of the corner stone laying for the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia on December, 1854

Mind of God

And can we know the mind of God,

A window to the will supreme?

And is His purpose all exposed

To human eye, so faint and dim?

Look! open upward broadly lies


The Word of God—the unerring Law,

Threatening and promising by turns,

As Masons yield to fear or love,

Oh, be it ours to walk thein,

And at the end have sure reward!


Robert Morris

An Ancient Masonic Song

‘This Masonry unites mankind,

To gen’rous actions, forms the Soul;

In friendly Converse all conjoined,

One Spirit animates the whole.


Where’er aspiring Domes arise,

Wherever sacred Altars stand;

These Altars blaze into the skies,

The Domes proclaim the Mason’s Hand.


As passions rough the Soul disguise,

Till Science cultivates the Mind;

So the rude Stone unshapen lies,

Till by the Mason’s art refin’d.


Tho’ still our chief Concern and Care

Be to deserve the Brother’s Name:

Yet ever mindful of the Fair,

Their kindest Influence we claim.


Let wretches at our Manhood rail;

But they who once our Order prove,

Will own that we who build so well,

With equal energy can love.


First published in 1756

Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase)

Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,

And saw, within the moonlight in his room,

Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,

An angel writing in a book of gold;

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,

And to the Presence in the room he said,

“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,

And with a look made of all sweet accord,

Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”

“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”

Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,

But cheerily still; and said, “I pray thee, then,

Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night

It came again with a great wakening light,

And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,

And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.”


Leigh Hunt