Friday, December 14, 2012

KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE. By Brother A. J. H. Duganne. Reprinted by GM Tweddell 1870

King Solomon's Temple - An American Masonic poem - 10 pages reprinted 1870 by Tweddell

As it says in the above "Messers Tweddell (one of the firm being Bro. Geo Tweddell FSA &c ...having recently re-printed and issued this striking Masonic poem in the shape of  neat pamphlet. Messers Tweddell deserve credit for the perception they have shown in selecting this admirable Masonic poem for reproduction in this country. The beautiful allegory which pervades its flowing versification throughout, the happiness of its expression and allusions, commend it to the study and perusal of every member of the Order" Freemason's Magazine 1870

I haven't yet found a copy of Tweddell's pamphlet with this poem in but found a version in the above anthology of Masonic Poetry The Poetry of Freemasonry compiled by  Robert Morris Masonic Poet Laureate.

By Brother A. J. H. Duganne.

Part I.
It is told, in a quaint old nursery tale,
That perchance you have often read,
How a castle lies hid in some charmed vale.
Remote from the usual tread;
And within an enchanted Princess lies.
Asleep in her silken bed;
Whilst round about, under slumberous charms.
Lie the forms of her lordly train —
And their squires, and archers, and yeomen -at-arms.
As valiant as ever drew rein;
But with helmets, and bucklers, and lances,
All clouded with mildew-stain.
All corroded and mildew'd with rust of time.
They are lying in court and hall;
Every young knight's beard bears a frosty rime—
Like the beard of the Seneschal
Who awaits, in his chair, at the postern gate.
The sound of a trumpet call;
While below, in the crypts of this castle strange
O'erbrooded by self-same spell.
There are shapes like friars, in cloister'd range,
Lying each at the door of his cell.
And awaiting, in motionless slumber,
The stroke of a summoning bell!!
For whenever a Knight who is tried and true
Rides late o'er the haunted wold.
And peals a loud summons the trumpet through,
That hangs at the postern old.
Then, in all the crypts of this castle
A bell is solemnly toU'd—

And the Princess arises, in royal gear,
From the couch of her charmed rest.
And her knights and her nobles take shield and spear.
At their beautiful lady's behest;
And they hie to the gate of the postern
To welcome their midnight guest!
Then afar through the cloisters and corridors
Sounds a monotone stroke of the bell;
And each friar steals forth, o'er the marble floors,
From the door of his darksome cell;
And he creepeth away to the postern gate—
His marvelous story to tell;
While the bell of the castle is ringing amain,
And the wondering guest comes in;
And the Seneschal leading his ghastly train
Away through the ghostly din;
Then the friars rehearse to the stranger knight
Their stories of sorrow and sin.
With a patter of prayers and a dropping of beads,
They recount, to the shuddering man,
How their souls waxed heavy with sinful deeds
In the days of their mortal span;
And how Heaven's avenging sentence
Their earthly years o'erran !
And the Princess reveals to the stranger knight
How she needs must slumber alway,
Till a Prince of the Temple, in valorous fight.
Shall a Saracen sorcerer slay—
And the spell of his midnight magic
Disperse under morn's sweet ray !
But alas ! for that guest of the haunted grange.
If no Templar Knight he be;
And woe, when he listeth that story strange,
If no memories pure hath he !
To the spell of the sorcerer's magic
He must bow his powerless knee;
He must sink into sleep, with the shape he sees.
And his buckler and helm will rust!
He must lie in the cloisters and crypts, with these
Who have risen, to greet him, from dust!
And await, with them, an awakening
By hero more pure and just!

Like that charmed castle, in haunted vale,
Is the wondrous Masonic Past!
Where the heroes and yeomen of History's tale
Are reclining in slumbers fast;
With the spell of an indolent seeming
Over all their memories cast !
But the Princess, who sleeps in her silken bed.
Is the spirit of ancient Truth;
Lying evermore shrouded with tatter and shred.
But for evermore fresh with youth—
And awaiting the pure-hearted Seeker
To come, with his valor and truth
Like the knights and the nobles in slumber profound,
Are our riddles and fables of old;
In their rust and their dust they incumber the ground,
And abide in their garments of mold —
Keeping truth, like a charmed Princess,
Asleep in their ghostly hold.
'Mid the haunted cloisters of History's script,
In the House of the Past they dwell;
Like the souls of the friars, they hide in each crypt,
And emerge from each darksome cell—
At the blast of a summoning trumpet,
Their wonderful stories to tell !
In the volumed marvels of Grecian mind,
And the records of Roman lore,
There are riddles of wisdom for human kind.
To ponder a lifetime o'er ;
And to all of their mystical meanings
Each heart is an open door !
Every human heart is a postern gate
To the house of the wondrous Past,
Where the heroes and sages of History wait
The sound of a trumpet blast,
That shall break the enchanted slumbers
For ages around them cast!
How the voices of song, out of Dorian aisles.
With their Iliad and Odyssey swell !
How they roll'd from the shadows of Tuscan piles,
Where the Florentine chanted of Hell!
And how grandly, through Gothic chancels.
Of Paradise Lost they tell

And the whispers of hearts, and responses of souls,
Flow around, like the west wind kind,
When the song of the Singer of Avon rolls
Through the gates of our listening mind,
And the plaint of the pilgrim Harold
Sounds fitful and strange behind !
All the climes of the earth are as Holy Lands
To the feet of the children of Song ;
Every realm hath its Mecca, where pilgrim bands
To some Kaaba of Poesy throng;
And the homes and the tombs of the poets
To the whole wide world belong.
In the paths of their minstrels the nations tread,
And the king on his bard awaits ;
For Ulysses is dumb, and Achilles is dead,
Until Homer their soul creates ;
And 'tis Tasso who frees Jerusalem,
Though Godfrey wins her gates.
Through the twilight of oaks and of mistletoe bowers.
The hymns of the Druids I hear;
And the Fairie Queene, through lab'rinths of flowers,
Lures me with her melodies clear.
From the echoes of " woodly Morven,"
To the murmurs of sweet Windermere ;
And I hear the old Norsemen chanting their tunes,
Under arches of boreal fires.
And the Troubadours singing, through long, rich Junes,
To their soft Provencal lyres ;
And the bards of the Cambrian mountains,
O'ersweeping their 'wildered wires.
O ! those voices of Song, how they ebb, how they flow!
How they swell, like the tides of the main !
Every age, every clime, hath its life-giving throe,
And its utterance of generous pain—
Till its master-thought leapeth, full armor'd,
From out some Jove-like brain !
O ! the heroes and kings have no story to tell,
In the dust of their funeral urns;
But the songs of the poets immortally dwell
Wheresoever a true heart yearns —
In the halls of the royal David,
Or the cottage of Robert Burns !

Part II.
But the house of the past hath its tongues of stone,
Yea, its voices of marble and brass—
From the sands of the desolate desert up-thrown.
And the mold of the wilderness grass !
Though the myth of their awful meanings
Too often we idly pass !
Where the Nile flows down by its pyramid tombs ;
Where the ruins of Tadmor lie;
Where the Petraean cities, from cavernous glooms.
Like sepulchers, startle the eye—
O ! the voices of granite and marble
To our souls make audible cry !
Every crumbling plinth, every prostrate shaft,
Hath a murmur of moldering years ;
From each column and cornice the low winds waft
A dirge to our listening ears ;
And each frieze, from its sculptured tablet.
Seems weeping with stony tears ;
Where the gardens of Belus o'er Babylon hung,
And where Nineveh's walls were raised ;
Where the hundred portals of Thebes swung,
And old Tyre over ocean gazed ;
And where high upon Mount Moriah,
King Solomon's Temple blazed !
Oh ! that mountain of God, in the realms of my love,
Hath a marvelous glory and worth ;
And the Temple that rose its high places above,
Covers more than Jerusalem's girth ;
For its aisles are the highways of ages.
And its courts are the zones of earth.
O'er its mythical meanings and parabled sense
I have pondered, in childlike mind,
Until, back through the ages, with yearnings intense.
My unsatisfied heart hath inclined —
Longing still for the word of the Master—
The Word that no mortal may find !
In the dreams and the visions of fervent desire,
I have mingled with Levite and Priest;
With the widow's son, Hiram, and Hiram of Tyre,
Sitting down at Meridian feast;
And beholding King Solomon's glory
Arising, like morn in the East

With mine ancient brethren in Masonry's craft—
When my soul the lambskin wore—
I have stood by the mystical corner shaft,
And knelt on the tesselate floor ;
With the glorious roof of the Temple,
Like Heaven's roof, arching me o'er !
Under all the rude noises of battling thrones,
And of realms that jar and strive,
Flows the voice of our Master, whose tender tones
Overbrooded the Hebrew hive.
When he spake three thousand proverbs.
And his songs were a thousand and five;
When he sang of Mount Lebanon's cedar tree.
And of hyssop that springs from the wall ;
Of the fowls of the air, of the fish of the sea.
And of things in the dust that crawl;
Till the words of his love and his wisdom
Enlighten-'d and beautified all.
To the ruler of Sidon— the lord of the seas—
Flies the word of Jerusalem's king.
Saying, "Bid thou thy servants that Lebanon's trees
To Judean borders they bring ;
And between us shall peace be alway.
And blessings around us cling.
From his wars and his sorrows King David hath rest,
And he sleeps under Sion's sod ;
But, with trembling and awe, at his high behest,
I abide in the paths he trod ;
And I build on the Mount of Moriah
A house to the Lord my God !

Then, from far-away forests of Lebanon come
Great floats unto Joppa's strand ;
And from Tyre and Sidon arises a hum.
As of bees, overswarming the land ;
And it swells through the Valley of Jordan,
In chorals of industry grand !
Under manifold halos of column and arch.
Through the soundless courts and aisles.
At the word of their Master the Craftsmen march.
To their labors, in lengthening files;
While the Temple arises before them.
From portal to golden tiles

From the echoless earth, through the motionless air,
How that beautiful fabric upgrows !
From the heart of the King, like a voiceless prayer,
How it mounts, in its fragrant repose ;
Bearing upward King Solomon's worship.
As incense ascends from the rose !
In their brass and their silver, their marble and gold,
All noiseless the Crafts have wrought.
Till, in grandeur of silence, their works unfold,
As with life everlasting fraught.
By the glow of the greater and lesser Light,
And the power of the Master's Word—
By the Plummet of Truth, and the level of Right,
And the Square that hath never err'd —
Through the work of a Master Mason,
King Solomon's prayer was heard.
At the fragrant morn, 'neath the golden moon,
And the eventide's hour of balm,
All the hearts of his Craftsmen were lifted in tune,
Like the mingling of harmonies calm ;
And the Temple arose on Moriah,
A mighty Masonic Psalm !
Oh ! that Temple of God, from the house of the past,
Shineth down o'er the centuried years ;
And my heart, through the veil of its mysteries vast.
The voice of King Solomon hears.
Asking me, with the sign of a Master,
Why my spirit no Temple rears.
With the Three Great Lights ever shining above.
And the tools of the Craft at hand,
Why I t)uild up no fabric of prayerful love.
With the arch of a lifetime spann'd ;
And the wings of embracing cherubs
Overbrooding its yearnings grand.
Oh ! the house of the Lord that our lives might raise.
How it gleams from our fair youth-time !
How its manifold arches and architraves blaze.
Through the wilderness-dust of our prime;
Yet our years, when they molder to ashes,
Behold us but wrecks sublime !

For the house that we build in a lifetime's length,
From the midst of our worldly din,
Hath no Jachin and Boaz, established in strength,
And no Holy of Holies within ;
And we bear up no Ark of the Covenant,
From out of our Desert of Zin !
There's a mountain of God in each human heart
For that glorious Temple's base ;
And the lines of each loyal Mason's art
May its grand foundations trace ;
And within it, the wings of cherubs
May the Holy of Holies embrace !
Through the beautiful aisles of the charmed past,
How its wonderful harmonies swell!
When their meanings arise, at the Templar's blast,
From the mold of each darksome cell;
And the soul of the true no longer
With the dust of the false shall dwell!
When the thoughts of our morning shall royally plan,
And the deeds of our day shall build ;
And the arch of perfection eternally span.
With the measure our Master hath will'd ;
And the depths of our Holy of Holies
With incense of prayer be filled !
When the pillars of strength in our porch shall abide,
With the lilies of beauty above ;
And the veil of the Presence, encompassing wide.
Overshadow the ark of our love ;
And the peace of the blessed Shekinah
Enfold, like the wings of a dove !
Oh ! the cedars of Lebanon grow at our door,
And the quarry is sunk at our gate ;
And the ships out of Ophir, with golden ore
For our summoning mandate wait;
And the word of a Master Mason
May the house of our soul create !
While the day hath light, let the light be used.
For no man shall the night control !
" Or ever the silken cord be loosed.
Or broken the golden bowl,"
May we build King Solomon's Temple
In the true Masonic soul

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