Masonic poet’s corner

The little lodge of long ago

By Douglas Malloch

The little Lodge of long ago-
It wasn’t very much for show:
Men met above the village store,
And cotton more than satin wore,
And sometimes stumbled on a word,
But no one cared, or no one heard.
Then tin reflectors threw the light
Of kerosene across the night
And down the highway served to call
The faithful to the Masonic Hall
It wasn’t very much, I know,
The little Lodge of long ago.

But, men who meet in finer halls,
Forgive me if the mind recalls
With love, not laughter, doors of pine,
And smoky lamps that dimly shine,
Regalia tarnished, garments frayed,
Or cheaply bought or simply made,
And floors uncarpeted, and men
Whose grammar falters now and then-
For Craft, or Creed, or God Himself,
Is not a book a book upon a shelf:
They have a splendour that will touch
A Lodge that isn’t very much.

It wasn’t very much – and yet
This made it great: there Mason’s met-
And’ if a handful or a host,
That always matters, matters most
The beauty of the meeting hour
Is not a thing of robe or flow’r
However beautiful they seem:
The greatest beauty is the gleam
Of sympathy in honest eyes.
A lodge is not a thing of size
It is a thing of Brotherhood
And that alone can make it good.

 

This month a poem is presented following the inspiring spectacle
of the games of the same name just concluded in Canada

Invictus

By

William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced or cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.