By Bill Shorto
In sombre dress I'm led once more by strictly measured steps on the now familiar ground of chequered pave.
The age-old learnt responses have fallen from my lips and the darkness is the darkness of the grave.
Except for one bright emblem that flickers in the East to guide my mentors steps at each new turn.
Its promises are many, but to me it seems not least is the promise that the day will yet return.
The Valley of the Shadow is the subject of my plea that I my life's transgressions overcome.
Frail creature of His Providence, I humbly bend the knee and pray that I will not again succumb.
I dimly see the guardians that I have met before, and duly give to each what they command.
They speed me on my progress across the chequered floor until I feel a firm restraining hand.
I stand before the abyss: a point of no return. I'm shown a path by which I safely pass.
I'm asked if I am ready for a trial by which I'll earn advancement to a much enlightened class.
Before the throne of Solomon I solemnly declare that I will safely carry in my heart disclosures that I've earlier been privileged to share, and those that he will now to me impart.
I promise I'll adhere to all the principles I've learnt. I'll answer and obey all lawful signs
Present myself when summoned, unless, perchance, I can't, when the world beyond the portal me maligns.
An impact twice repeated, at the temple of the mind
another finds its mark and I'm at rest beyond the reach of treachery as practised by mankind, where nothing can integrity molest.
But soon, with some assistance, to the struggle I return, to take my place among my fellow men.
A dramatic revelation of the meaning I now learn of a pentagram of tactile regimen.
My path has rendered visible some shadows of the mind. exposing hidden secrets to my sight.
My vision is much stronger, in the darkness less confined, but still I seek expansion of the light.
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Just wanted to say that I got the ring - and it's the most beautiful ring I've seen. Thank you and keep up the good work.
Brother Ofotsu, Upper Marlboro, MD
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