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Ashlar Home > Poems > Henry Englesman

The Poetic Works of Henry Englesman

The Masters Song

I married my childhood sweetheart,
And I've fathered a splendid son,
There's a host of things I've meant to do,
And there's quite a few I've done.
I've laughed, I've cried, I have damned near died,
Now with age my mem'ries throng,
But I'll never forget that night in my life
When they sang me the master's song

I stood on a chair with my glass in the air,
And I felt as I'll ne'er feel again,
As with one sweet accord, at that gay festive board,
They echoed that stirring refrain.

Half of my life I had lived with their love,
Now, with my heart beating faster,
Every friend, every face, arose from their place,
Toasting me, the worshipful master.
It matters not who you are,
Nor whence you have hailed,
We have all shared both pleasures and pains
If, on that night, you don't swoon with delight,
There's water not blood in your veins

And it's not just the thought of the effort you've made,
Nor the chagrin you'd feel if you fail,
Its that challenge you've met,
And you've faced, and surpassed,
Coming home, - at the end of the trail
Countless hours you've spent with that little black book,
You'd rehearse, -then you'd get it all wrong
The preceptor would give you his withering look
Then he'd smile and help you along.
Neither is it the pain of the ritual you've wrought,
That has singled you out from the throng,
For it wasn't for glory nor gain that you sought,
But the strains of a sweet simple song

Try telling the world just how you feel,
As the tears well up in your eyes,
Only one who has stood on that chair could reveal,
That pleasure, that passion, that prize.

An elation so real, a warmth you can feel,
Each one outsinging another,
The zest in their voices as each man rejoices,
Confirms this, as the meaning of 'brother'.
I've felt that adrenalin rush once before,
On a beach-head held down under fire,
But that was the rush and the flush of my youth,
Combination of panic and ire.

I reacted of course, I hardly know why,
And for that they awarded a gong,
But it doesn't compare with that feeling I got,
When they sang me the master's song.

No! I'm not finished yet,
There's still work to be done,
And I'll face it, (with help from above),
For a task which you're sharing with friends that are caring,
Is surely a labour of love.

And the jewel on my breast tells that I've passed the test,
At the helm now, is where I belong,
Making new brothers, encouraging others,
And singing the masters song

Ah, yes' comes a time when my heart says 'enough',
And I'll come to that haven of rest,
May my final thoughts be of those I have loved,
And in turn with their love, am I blest

Let me not hear the notes of a mournful choir,
To usher my spirit along,
May I pass through those gates to the sounds of my mates,
Singing the master's song
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