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Ashlar Home > Poems > Henry Englesman > The Honours System

The Honours System

By Henry Englesman

I've been a Mason nigh four decades,
Forty years of interest and delight.
In brotherhood I've lived and loved
Togetherness has been my guiding light,

And I've received just a little bit more
Than the effort I've put in.
For a night with the boys is one of life's joys
And I don't regard it a sin.

I've paid all my dues, and I've taken my turn,
And in all it's been really grand,
The ritual's a breeze, but, explain to me, please,
Something I don't understand.

There's a bone of contention I feel I must mention
That has caused a degree of concern.
Who gets promoted? And how is it done?
That's something I just have to learn.

Now I've told you my problem, I'll tell it again
I've thought on it hard and quite long
But whoever I speak to, they don't make it plain
That's something I find clearly wrong.

Now canvassing's out, that's obviously fair,
Flattery and bribery too
And a friend in high places has no saving graces,
So why did they pick him? And not you!

I visit quite often, almost countrywide
And am many times called on to speak,
I'm asked the same query, until I'm weary,
The answer I give, tongue in cheek.

Who makes this decision that causes division
Just tell us the name of the guy
When I tell them I can't, if I could that I shan't
Then I hear this same plaintive cry -

A didn't want any

B didn't get any

C got more than he should

Ds little heart sank,

E got an active rank,

F didn't - but he felt that he could

G had effort ignored

with it all H was bored

and I really couldn't care less.

J was quite elated, poor K was deflated

it seemed all one L of a mess!

M had been a founder,

but N seemed much sounder

0 for it all to make sense!

P tried to mollify

Q did not qualify,

R did not have enough sense!

S seemed stupendous,

'T was tremendous,

and at seventy U was past tense!

V had been secretary,

W had just made merry

but X seemed to mark the right spot

Tell us Y (That's the riddle)

Z to be all a fiddle(!)

How did anyone get what he got???

Will this great mystery that's gone down in history
Ever really be solved?
I very much doubt it, but with or without it,
I'd rather not get involved.
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