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Ashlar Home > Poems > Rob Morris > The Visit of King Solomon

The Visit of King Solomon

By Rob Morris

Now the sun is burning dim,
and the world is but a glim,
And the race of man is loitering to its close,
Quoth a phantom that I saw,
weird and horrible with awe,
In a vision that my very marrow froze.
'Twas the phantom of the son
Of King David, Solomon!

On the twenty-fourth of June,
at the rising of the moon,
In the year of Jesus eighteen seventy-five,
I was scurrying home at night,
while the starry host was bright,
Straight and sober, yes, as any man alive
I was hurrying home alone,
When I met King Solomon!

All was silent save the frogs,
hiccoughing among the bogs,
And the katydids a-soloing through the trees
When this fearful thing I saw,
weird and terrible with awe,
Even to tell it doth my very marrow freeze
'Twas the phantom of the son
Of King David, Solomon!

First I took it for the devil,
but I spied the Mason's gavel
Held aloft, as Masters hold it in the East
And the phantom let it fall,
as we do the setting maul,
With a clatter that the frogs their noises ceased.
Such a vim have mortals none
As Grand Master Solomon

On his left hand and his right
were his Wardens clothed in white,
As we see in every mystic gathering
Each a proper badge did wear,
each displayed the silver Square,
So I knew them, Widow's Son and Hiram King
Hiram King and Widow's Son
Walking with King Solomon!

Why this meeting, I invoke?
Then the Prince of Masons spoke,
I have broken, I have broken death's repose,
For the sun is burning dim,
and the world is but a glim,
And the race of man is loitering to its close.
Then a melancholy groan
Shook the friends of Solomon.

'Tis almost three thousand years
since I left in doubts and fears,
My great Brotherhood beneath Moriah's dome,
And I gave the working band,
as my very last command,
Not to alter nor to falter till I come
Now to judge them on my throne
I will sit, said Solomon.

Every tower and temple grand,
built by their instructed hand,
Every dwelling that displays my mystic seal,
Soon must topple to the ground,
for the end of earth is found.
And the cornerstone its secrets must reveal
Underneath the cornerstone
Treasure's hid, quoth Solomon.

When I left the weeping Craft,
weeping round my Broken Shaft,
Adjured them by this symbol to be true!
Then the Monarch showed a Name,
I had bowed before the same,
Even when the mystic Winding Stairs I knew,
Bright as the meridian sun
Is this name, quoth Solomon!

And they have been, I declared,
while the attendant Wardens stared,
Yes, they have been faithful, earnest, and sincere!
Come, Grand Master, come, and see
our world-wide Fraternity
This St. John's night, busy, closing up the year!
Then a smile, all sunny, shone,
On the lips of Solomon!

How 'twas done I cannot say,
but we scurried swift away,
And we rattled round and round the world that night.
Where the Lodges were at work,
Christian, Israelite, and Turk,
Gavels sounding, Jewels gleaming, Tapers bright
Never Mason's road was run
Like my trip with Solomon!

Many a query made the King
of each mystic gathering,
Many an answer prompt and honest they returned,
As the Craftsmen told of good
they had done through Brotherhood
And the plaudits of their first Grand Master earned
And I noticed, one by one,
What they said to Solomon.

But as we went I said,
Both the living and the dead,
Both the joyous and the sorrowing of our Band
Are the same to us in love,
for we learn of God above,
That we all shall meet again in Heavenly Land
Far beyond the glowing sun,
Were my words to Solomon.

But the moon had left the night
in the East a ruddy light
Had awaked the early birds to morning strain
And the Monarch disappeared,
as my homeward course I steered.
And I never met the Mason King again
But I've truly made it known
What was said by Solomon.
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