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Ashlar Home > Poems > Alan R. Heath > The Candidate

The Candidate

By Alan R. Heath

It was his dream to become a Mason,
Though he wasn't sure quite why.
So he made an application,
Then waited months for a reply.

No committee came to pay a call,
To meet him and his wife,
No invitation to Mason's hall
Nor offer of advice.

Finally a postcard in the mail,
Said, come Monday night at six,
And bring us twenty dollars,
If you want to see our tricks.

He made that solitary journey,
And entered by the door,
But not one hand was offered,
As he slowly crossed the floor.

They fed him beans and hot dogs,
And a piece of apple pie,
Then lead him to a little room,
With no explanation why.

The work was done with care and skill,
No one could argue that.
But, the candidate was forgotten,
As they patted themselves on the back.

He came to the lodge hall two more times,
And was raised to the third degree.
That was the last time they saw him.
What could the trouble be?

They scratched their heads and wondered,
As again they cried and moaned,
Our time has all been wasted!
We should have stayed at home.

It seems to me that they've missed the point,
But they need to understand.
It's not just how well you do the work,
It's how you treat the man.

Because you can only be a Mason,
When you're a Mason in your heart
And along with his jacket seams,
They had burst his dream apart.

So, if you get an application,
Please, call on that man at once.
Invite him and his family,
To tour your hall and share some lunch.

Answer all his questions,
Let him share your pride.
A Mason's work, is honest work
That's not a secret to hide.

And when it's time to present him,
With the gift of a degree,
Remember, genuine friendship is,
The true gift of masonry.

Pick him up and take him home.
Isn't he worth the trip?
No candidate should come alone.
Please, don't ignore this tip.

All should rush to greet him,
As he enters by your door.
Extend your hand in friendship,
That's what a Mason's grip is for.

And remember your obligation,
As you lead him to the gate.
It's up to you to guide him through,
Not to hurt or humiliate.

Now armed with proper instruction,
Masonry's door will open wide,
Thanks to you, his best example,
Of what a Mason should be inside.

And thank him sincerely for coming.
Invite him back to his new home.
For a brother will not be a brother,
If he feels unwelcome and alone
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