The Masonic Poems of Bro. Robert Burns
To Dr Mackenzie of Mauchline :
Friday first’s the day appointed
By the Right Worshipful anointed,
To hold our Grand procession;
To get a blad o’ Johnie’s morals,
And taste a swatch o’Manson’s barrels,
I’d a way of our profession.
The Master and the Brotherhood
Would a’be glad to see you;
For me, I would be mair than proud
To share the mercies wi you.
If Death, then, wi skaith, then,
Some mortal heart is hechtin;
Inform him, and storm him,
That Saturday you’ll fecht him.
Mossgiel, An.M. 5790.
Masonic Song: Ye Sons of Old Killie
Ye sons of Auld Killie, assembled by Willie,
To follow the noble vocation;
Your thrifty old mother has scarce such another
To sit in that honoured station.
I’ve little to say, but only to pray,
As praying’s the ton of your fashion;
A prayer from the muse you well may excuse,
`Tis seldom her favorite passion.
Ye powers who preside o’er the wind and the tide,
Who marked each element’s border,
Who formed this frame with beneficent aim
Whose sovereign statute is order,
Within this dear mansion may wayward contention,
Or withered Envy ne’er enter,
May secrecy round be the mystical bound
And brotherly love be the center.
The Farewell to the Brethren of St James’s Lodge Tarbolton.
Adieu, a heart warm, fond adieu,
Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favored, ye enlightened few,
Companions of my social joy!
Tho’ I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing fortune’s sliddery ba’,–
With melting heart and brimful eye,
I’ll mind you still, though far awa’.
Oft have I met your social band,
An’ spent the cheerful, festive night;
Oft, honored with supreme command,
Presided o’er the sons of light;
And by that Hieroglyphic bright,
Which none but Craftsmen ever saw,
Strong memory on my heart shall write
Those happy scenes, when far awa’.
May freedom, harmony and love
Unite you in the grand design,
Beneath th’ omniscient Eye above,
The glorious Architect divine;–
That you may keep the unerring line,
Still guided by the plummet’s law,
Till order bright completely shine,
Shall be my prayer when far awa’.
And you farewell, whose merits claim
Justly that highest badge to wear,–
Heaven bless your honored, noble name,
To Masonry and Scotia dear!
A last request, permit me here;
When yearly ye assemble a’,
One round,–I ask it with a tear
To him the Bard that’s far awa.
Address to the Deil
When masons’ mystic word an’ grip
In storms an’ tempests raise you up,
Some cock or cat your rage maun stop,
Or, strange to tell!
The youngest brither ye wad whip
Aff straught to hell.
Robert Burns and freemasonry, by Dudley Wright
Robert Burns as a Freemason, by Bro. William Harvey
Robert Burns, poet-laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning; facts substantiating his election and inauguration on 1st March 1787, gleaned from the Lodge records and other authentic sources (1894). By Brothers Hugh Peacock and Allan MacKenzie.