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Ashlar Home > Poems > Conrad Hahn > For Men Must Brothers Be

For Men Must Brothers Be

By Conrad Hahn

Then blood was shed, and there was slaughter,
Staining the soil of our brave new world
When brothers, to defend their freedom as they knew it,
Cruel canister at one another hurled.
Still sleep the brave
Who fell so long ago.
But life is love
And love they gave
Who saw a Brother in the foe.

A chosen few, with hopes despairing,
Insisted yet that Craftsmen try
To build the House of Brotherhood. In North and South
With love they wove, strands of the Mystic Tie.
Now sleep the wise
Who labored long ago.
For life is love
And love they gave
Who knew a Brother, though a foe.

Bright symbol of those war-time mercies
Was Brother Mackey, Charleston's pride,
Begging his townsmen for some simple comforts
For lonely captives from the Union side.
Now sleep those hearts
That loved so long ago.
But life is love
And love they gave
Who served a Brother, though a foe.

But men still wage a bitter warfare
Against the powers of hate and greed.
Ignorance spawns anew her coarse and spiteful soldiers
Yet brothers everywhere our love still need.
Now wake the souls
Of those who dare to see
That life is love
And love will win
Wherever men must Brothers be!

Commentary

The book House Undivided by Brother Allen E. Roberts (The Story of Freemasonry and The Civil War) has this poem on the front cover.
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