The Little Lodge of Long Ago

By Doulas 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.

The tin reflectors threw the light

Of kerosene across the night

And down the highway served to call

The faithful to Masonic Hall.

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 upon a shelf:

They have a splendor that will touch,

A Lodge that isn’t very much.

It wasn’t very much and yet

This made it great: there Masons 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.

 

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