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Ashlar Home > Poems > Rob Morris > The Duelist

The Duelist

By Rob Morris

Hark, how the air resounds with death!
Lo, to the tomb a Mason comes!
But where is the badge the Mason hath
Type of a life beyond the tombs?
Is there not one in all the band
Owns him a Brother now?
Speak, ye that weep around the bier,
And say where the honors were his due.
How he was loved these tear drops show
How he was honored midst our band
For he had a heart for every woe.
For each distress a liberal hand.
Bright in the East our rising sun,
Proud viewed we his career
But now that to-day his race is run,
We fling no Acacia on his bier.
Whispering low the cause we yield
History of his unworthy death
False honor called him to the field
And death the erring Brother met.
No dirge from us can o'er him swell,
No banners round him wave
Emblem of faith we dare not strew
Upon the sad, self-murderer's grave.
Ceases the knell of sorrow now
But long will the heavy sigh be drawn
Vacant the East! ah, heavy woe!
Our Wisdom, Strength and Beauty gone
But worst the grief this thought will bring
To our fraternal home
Brightest and dearest, thou art passed,
Dishonored, to an early tomb!

Commentary

A Brother, known and beloved for his Masonic and general worth, and had in fraternal contemplation for the highest honors of the Craft, was killed in a duel. His Lodge, though warmly solicited, refused to bury him with Masonic honors, but accompanied his remains to the grave in citizens' apparel.
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