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Ashlar Home > Poems > Rob Morris > The Obedient Disciple

The Obedient Disciple

By Rob Morris

A Brother, bound for distant lands,
In sickness fell alone, alone
And stranger care from stranger hands,
Did the last rites of nature own.
But ere the trembling spirit passed,
He on a Tablet faintly traced

Some mystic lines a spiral Thread
A Square an emblem of the Sun
A Checkered Band, that none could read
And then his work and life were done.
And stranger care from stranger hands,
Gave him kind burial in the sands.

Full many a year swept by, swept by,
And the poor stranger was forgot
While on an olive column, nigh,
That Tablet marked his burial spot
And many gazed at Square and Thread,
And many guessed, but none could read.

But then the sage Disciple came,
Of one whose wisdom filled the land,
Himself right worthy of the name,
The thoughtful head and ready hand
He looked upon the mystic lines,
And read the Tablet's full designs.

It spoke of one long passed before,
In quest of truth, like him, sincere
Of one gone onward, never more
To delve in mines deep-hidden here
And solemn was the lesson traced,
Lo, Pilgrim! 'tis your fate at last!

Awe-struck, yet wiser now, he strayed
In solemn silence from the spot
Repaid the debt his brother made,
And eastward journeyed on his lot
Yet never on life's shifting wave
Lost he the lesson of that grave.

How weighty is the charge we give,
Brethren, in this short history read,
To bless the living while we live,
And leave some tokens when we're dead!
On life's broad Tablet let us trace
Emblems to mark our burial place!


The ancient historian, Iamblichus, describes with unction the circumstance that forms the basis of the following piece. The two travelers therein named were disciples of Pythagoras, whose system of secret affiliation, if it was not Freemasonry, at least exhibited the benevolent features which make up so large a part of it.
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