I heard this poem some years ago during a speech by a visiting Grand Master to the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Idaho. It resonated with me and has been a favorite ever since.
By Douglas Malloch
Father's lodge, I well remember,
wasn't large as lodges go,
There was trouble in December
getting to it through the snow.
But he seldom missed a meeting;
drifts or blossoms in the lane,
Still the Tyler heard his greeting,
winter ice or summer rain.
Father's lodge thought nothing of it:
mid their labors and their cares
Those old Masons learned to love it,
that fraternity of theirs.
What's a bit of stormy weather,
when a little down the road,
Men are gathering together,
helping bear each other's load?
Father's lodge had made a village:
men of father's sturdy brawn
Turned a wilderness to tillage,
seized the flag, and carried on,
Made a village, built a city,
shaped a country, formed a state,
Simple men, not wise nor witty —
humble men, and yet how great!
Father's lodge had caught the gleaming
of the great Masonic past;
Thinking, toiling, daring, dreaming,
they were builders to the last.
Quiet men, not rich nor clever,
with the tools they found at hand
Building for the great forever,
first a village then a land.
Father's lodge no temple builded,
shaped of steel and carved of stone;
Marble columns, ceilings guilded,
father's lodge has never known.
But a heritage of glory
they have left, the humble ones —
They have left their mighty story
in the keeping of their sons.