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Ashlar Home > Poems > Rob Morris > The Checkered Pavement

The Checkered Pavement

By Rob Morris

I on the White Square, you on the Black
I at fortune's face, you at her back
Friends to me many, friends to you few
What, then, dear Brother, binds me to you?
This, the Great Covenant in which we abide
Hearts charged with sympathy
Hands opened wide
Lips filled with comfort,
And God to provide.

I in life's valley, you on its crest
I at its lowest, you at its best
I sick and sorrowing, you hale and free
What, then, dear Brother, binds you to me?
This, the Great Covenant in which we abide
Hearts charged with sympathy
Hands opened wide
Lips filled with comfort,
And God to provide.

They in death's slumber, we yet alive
They freed from labor, we yet to strive
They paid and joyful, we tired and sad
What, then, to us, Brother, bindeth the dead?
This, the Great Covenant in which we abide
Hearts charged with sympathy
Hands opened wide
Lips filled with comfort,
And God to provide.

Let none be comfortless, let none despair
Lo, round the Black grouped the White Ashlars are!
Stand by each other, black fortune defy,
All these vicissitudes end, by and by.
Keep the Great Covenant wherein we abide
Hearts charged with sympathy
Hands opened wide
Lips filled with comfort,
And God will provide!

Commentary

There is no emblem that teaches a more practical every-day lesson to a Freemason than the Mosaic pavement, denoting human life checkered with good and evil.
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