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Ashlar Home > Poems > Rob Morris > Nunc Dimittis

Nunc Dimittis

By Rob Morris

Now dismiss me, while I linger
For one fond, one dear word more
Have I done my labor fairly?
Is there aught against my score?
Have I wronged in all this circle
One by deed, or word, or blow?
Silence speaks my full acquittance
Nunc dimittis, let me go!

Let me go, I crave my wages
Long I've suffered, long I've toiled
Never once through work days idle,
Never once my apron soiled
To the Chamber, where the Master
Waits with smiling to bestow
Corn, and Wine, and oil abundant,

Let me go, but you must tarry,
Till the sixth day's close has come
Heat and burden patient bear ye
While you're far away from home
But a little, for the summons
Waits alike for each of you
Mine is sounding, spirits wait me,
Nunc dimittis, let me go!

Oh, the Sabbath day in Heaven!
Oh, the joys reserved for them,
Faithful Builders of the Temple,
Type of blest Jerusalem!
Oh, the rapture of the meeting
With the friends 'twas bliss to know!
Strive no longer to detain me,
Nunc dimittis, let me go!

Hushed that voice its fond imploring
Faded is that eager eye
Gone the soul of labor wearied,
To repose eternally.
But the memory of his service
Oft shall cheer me as I go,
Till the hour I, too, petition,
Nunc dimittis, let me go!

Commentary

It is written of a venerable Craftsman of the past generation, that, having lived through all the trials and reproaches of the Anti-Masonic period (1826-36), and maintained his membership first in one Lodge and then in another, as the contiguous Lodges successively gave way under the pressure, he came peacefully to his death bed at last, and smilingly said to the friends who thronged about, his bedside, Now, Brothers, let me have my demit!
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