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Ashlar Home > Poems > Bill Shorto

The Poetic Works of Bill Shorto

The Compass Of His Attainments


I've told you the tale of his Lordship

And the tramp he took home to his wife,

To show what could happen to some-one

Who never had sinned in his life.



It turned out the tramp's name was 'enery,

And his father had been on the square

And he was conceived on the Friday

When his father was put in the chair.



A Lewis, by gad said his Lordship,

And how did you come to be there

On the pavement outside of the Temple

With nothing half decent to wears



Said 'enery, I talked with me mother

Before she was took to her bed,

She talked of one thing and another,

And here's what the old lady said:



I can't tell you much of your father,

Except he was some kind of gent

Who I met in the ‘all in Great Queen Street,

-The one where the Masons all went.



So when the old lady departed

And left me to fend for meself,

I took to the road broken hearted,

And thought of me father's great wealf.



Now'enery 'ad 'eard about Masons,

How they were responsive and kind,

So he parked himself there on the pavement

And waited until they 'ad dined.



At this his Lordship looked pensive,

And started to work out the dates

Since the time of his own installation

When he went to the call with his mates.



You know how his Lordship had found him

And taken him home in the car,

But the Lady refused to receive him.

Well, you know what Ladyships are!



So his Lordship made his arrangements,

And set him up nice, in a flat,

With a pension to feed and to clothe him,

And you couldn't want better than that.



Now 'enery began to get restive

When he thought what his life could be like,

And he started to take driving lessons

So his Lordship bought him a bike.



But soon he was asking the questions,

Being free, and at least twenty-one

And he rode off to tackle his Lordship,

Who told him what had to be done.



Well, the time came for 'enery's acceptance

The date had been fixed in advance

The secretary did all the homework,

And the Master left nothing to chance.



But when 'enery got on his cycle,

-All dressed in his best quite a swell,

He found that the chain had departed

And the brakes were asunder, as well.



Now the road to the Temple was easy,

It ran down the side of the slope,

They tied up the brakes w'th some sisal,

And coasted off down full of hope.



Well he got there in time for the ritual,

But he asked at the festive board

How the Master had known that he entered

Of his own free wheel and a cord!
Read Commentary

Moral Truth and Virtue (Level 1)

II shuffle through the darkness and the poverty of birth

as destitute. I seek to find the light.

The pave I tread I've chosen, for I recognise the worth

of those others who have - sometime - shared my plight.



I feel the comfort flowing through the hand that grips my own

and the presence by my side as, on my knee,

the beauties of true Godliness are in my spirit sown,

and the light of future wisdom I can see.



Following my leader where no danger can ensue,

being free, of good report, I fear no ill.

His certain steps I follow as a garment I endue

acceptance of responding to his will.



A dreadful exhortation as again I bend the knee

and promise on the Holy Book of Law

No risk is there of doubting what my shameful fate will be,

if I should once this solemn pledge ignore.



But now I find the blessing of material light renewed

and ponder on the lessons there contained.

I wear the badge of innocence with which I am endued

I hear the bond of friendship now explained.



I listen to the warning that is given to my heart,

to remember how I entered on this course

should I ever meet a brother to whom I can impart

the benefice of shrewdly placed resource.



My apprenticeship is furthered by the tools that are displayed

my mind is deftly guided in their use.

I learn how I may build upon the promise I have made.

and how the rough-hewn ashlar to reduce.



Now for just a moment I'm permitted to retire -

a respite from the mind expanding grind.

I clothe myself with comfort in my regular attire

before returning to the temple of the mind.



Here I learn the rules by which my character is formed

how my manhood is distinguished from my youth.

I hear the sacred dictates the importance I'm informed

of Honour, and of Virtue, and of Truth.



I enter into Brotherhood that covers all the world

and leave behind the darkness of the night.

I see the glorious banners of the Brotherhood unfurled -

and yet I seek expansion of the light.
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