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Ashlar Home > Poems > Lawrence Greenleaf > The Temple

The Temple

By Lawrence Greenleaf

The temple made of wood and stone may crumble and decay,
But there's a viewless fabric which shall never fade away
Age after age the Masons strive to consummate the plan,
But still the work's unfinished which those ancient Three began
None but immortal eyes may view, complete in all its parts
The Temple formed of LIVING STONES,––the structure made of hearts

΄Neath every form of government, in every age and clime
Amid the world's convulsions and the ghastly wrecks of time,––
While empires rise in splendor, and are conquered and o'er thrown,
And cities crumble into dust, their very sites unknown,––
Beneath the sunny smile of peace, the threatening frown of strife,
Freemasonry has stood unmoved, with age renewed her life.

She claims her votaries in all climes, for none are under ban
Who place implicit trust in God, and love their fellow man
The heart that shares another's woe beats just as warm and true
Within the breast of Christian, or Mohammedan or Jew
She levels all distinctions from the highest to the least,––
The King must yield obedience to the Peasant in the East.

What honored names on history's page, o'er whose brave deeds we pore
Have knelt before our sacred shrine and trod the checkered floor!
Kings, princes, statesmen, heroes, bards who squared their actions true,
Between the Pillars of the Porch now pass in long review
O, Brothers, what a glorious thought for us to dwell upon––
The mystic tie that binds our hearts bound that of Washington!

Although our past achievements we with conscious pride review
As long as there's Rough Ashlars there is work for us to do
We still must shape the Living Stones with instruments of love
For that eternal Mansion in the Paradise above
Toil as we've toiled in ages past to carry out the plan,––
`Tis this,––the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man!
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