The famous masonic poet

Posted: January 12, 2012 in Masonic, Poem, poetry
Tags: , , ,

Its been a while since I posted in my blog, and for that, I must apologise. I was wondering what to write about, and it came to me while learning my installation work. Yes, I am taking the chair for the second year running at Orphic Lodge. A great honour to be chosen by your Brethren, even more so for another year.

Anyway, I came across this poem I thought I would share, written over a century ago by a famous poet, Noble Prize winner and Mason.

Rudyard Kipling was initiated into the Lodge of Hope and Perseverance in 1885. He received the Mark Mason degree, founded 3 other lodges. He wrote many poems known throughout the ages, and the few not widely known were those he wrote about the fraternity he belonged to. One of these such poems known is the following.

The Palace

When I was a King and a Mason, a Master Proven and skilled, I cleared me ground for a Palace, such as a King should build.
 I decreed and dug down to my levels; presently, under the silt, I came on the wreck of a Palace, such as a King had built. There was no worth in the fashion; 
there was no wit in the plan; Hither and thither, aimless, the ruined footings ran. 
Masonry, brute, mishandled, but carven on every stone, “After me cometh a Builder; tell him I, too, have known.” 
Swift to my use in my trenches, where my well-planned groundworks grew, I tumbled his quoins and his ashlars, and cut and rest them anew. 
Lime I milled of his marbles; burned it, slaked it, and spread; Taking and leaving at pleasure the gifts of the humble dead. 
Yet I despised not nor gloried, yet, as we wrenched them apart, I read in the razed foundation the heart of that Builder’s heart. 
As he has risen and pleaded, so did I understand The form of the dream he had followed in the face of the thing he had planned. 
When I was a King and a Mason, in the open noon of my pride, They sent me a Word from the Darkness; they whispered and called me aside. 
They said, “The end is forbidden.” They said, “Thy use is fulfilled. Thy Palace shall stand as that other’s, the spoil of a King who shall build.” 
I called my men from my trenches, my quarries, my wharves, and my sheers; All I had wrought I abandoned to the faith of the faithless years. 
Only I cut on the timber; only I carved on the stone: “After me cometh a Builder; tell him I, too, have known.”

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