« AnteriorContinua »
Lo ye! God's noblest edificema white-bair'd sageTotters beneath Time's storms in want and
age, Fast sinking to decay, whose touch uncouth Mars, one by one, the glories of his youthHis tow'ring stature and his strength of frame That seem'd immortal as JEHOVAH's name; The lorn survivor of the loved and young, Haply, his heart by wrongs or treachery wrung, His bent form trembling 'neath the chills of woe, Adown bis furrow'd cheek the salt tears flow : The rude winds sport amid his scanty hairs, The young—the jocund-seldom heed his pray’rs !
But once it was not so l-his nervous form
Could well sustain life's changing sky and storm ;-
open band was stretch'd to aid the weak,
His step was first misfortune's haunts to seek,
His heart was kindly as the genial sun;
But now his useful race is nearly run.
His form ye cannot renovate again,
Nor o'er Destruction's work success attain;
For it will steal, remorseless-span by span-
Till it has made its own the “clay” of man!
But round the noble ruin ye can raise
Fair walls, to shelter in its failing days-
Like some loved relic of Imperial Rome,
Shrine it within the precincts of a Home!
He is your Brother ;-shall he shiv'ring stand
While Masons have a voice, a heart, a hand ?
Ye have done much to memorise the name,
Rear now the highest pillar of your fame,
« THE OLD MAN'S REFUGE IN DECLINING YEARS,"
And earn a title to his grateful tears.
O Love Fraternal !--principle divinel-
One touch of thee makes erring nature shine
With the pure radiance of angelic grace
That tinged with glory Adam's undimm'd face,
Bids strife depart to reign with fools and slaves
Whose creeds are narrow as their joys and graves !-
By thy bless'd power, behold one Common Bond
More wonders working than a fairy's wand-
Colombia, Albion, Caledonia, Gaul,
Erin, and Cambria bid their banners fall :
All lands wherein thy influence is felt
Into one universal nation melt!
The tawny SAVAGE---Nature's unschool'd child,
But half-developed-by his impulse wild
Is taught to love thee as the source of good
And build thine Altar in his deep green wood:
Then, sinks his hatred to the “pale-faced” race
Within the mystic folds of thy embrace.
The Noble, of fair lands and lofty name,
Deems thee the dearest portion of his fame-
Bright deeds achieved beneath his knightly vow
Adorn him well, but thine shall crown his brow;
The peasant's hand he grasps in faith sincere,
And holds his rights as his own honour dear !
How doth thy voice, O Love Fraternal, pierce
Through the dull brain of Interest, factions fierce,
Customs corrupt—from Time's abuses stored
And o'er the Million like a plague-spout pour’d:
As flies the pen that dares be true and free,
Sending its missives over land and sea.-
When he whose mind of light, with courage bold,
Alike the Clown and Scholar's annals told,
Bade Lord and Beggar with no fav’ring hand
Stand forth in bold relief at his command,
Thy spirit nerved him in his noble aim ;
And thou shalt bless him more than all his fame.
The SOLDIER, too, though deck'd with laurels, won
By his unfalt'ring arm, not yet has done-
He must not rest while vet'ran heads are bare:
They challenge him, and he has learn'd to dare !
Not, now, his sword must Ay its scabbard's hold,
He wins the battle when their cause is told :
Victorious Right a bloodless triumph gains,
He an unspotted coronal attains !
And ye, who skilful to assuage the pains,
The irksome heritage each mortal gains,
No drug like Love Fraternal e'er will find
So apt to heal the sickness of mankind-
No famed elixir to prolong the span
Ere death sball close the short career of man-
Like HOME's dear comfort, earn'd, in days gone by,
Before the nipping hand of Want was nigh,
By lib'ral deeds in holy Mercy's name,
Whene'er a Brother felt misfortune's bane.
When the GREAT ARCHITECT earth's fabric piled,
With skill divine, from atoms floating wild,
For ev'ry creature, sprung to life and form,
He made a shelter from the coming storm :-
A leaf the fragile insect safe embower'd,
Within a rock the panting tiger cower'd,
The finny tribes their coral caverns sought,
To covert flew the birds, by instinct taught:
All, all were cared for in the wondrous scheme,
Too high--too mighty-for a mortal's theme !