Oh, his hair was a white as the snow that we tread,
With a little black cap on the back of his head,
And he trembled a bit, but I saw in his eyes
Both the gaze of a friend and the look of the wise.
Ere they opened the Lodge we just happened to chat:
‘I’m not knocking,’ he said, ‘don’t accuse me of that,
But I tell you, my son, if there’s anything wrong
With the Craft any place, anywhere you belong,
In a Lodge that is lacking or lagging behind,
More members than Masons you always will find.
‘When a fellow gets old, say a fellow like me,
He may think that the past is all right, I agree,
And the present all wrong; and yet, nevertheless,
We have seen more of men than you youngsters, I guess;
And, if in a Lodge, be it large, be it small,
There’s a lack of that heart that’s the heart of it all,
And a lack of the head that is bowed at the thought
Of the Craft that it is and the work it has wrought,
Then, I say, in that Lodge, lacking heart, lacking mind,
More members than Masons is what you will find.
‘For it isn’t enough that we mumble a word,
No, it isn’t enough that our voice shall be heard,
But our acts must be seen — yes, in word and in act,
Be a Mason in name and a Mason in fact!
Sixty years I have walked in the face of the storm,
And it kept my head up and it kept my heart warm;
And the need of us now, like the need of us then,
Is not members but Masons, not members but Men!
Let us leaven the lump till at last you will find
All members, all Masons, in heart and in mind.’
© Douglas Malloch