The little Lodge of long ago—
It wasn’t very much for show;
Men met above the village store,
And cotton more than satin wore,
And sometimes stumbled on a word,
But no one cared, or no one heard.
Then tin reflectors threw the light
Of Kerosene across the night
And down the highway served to call
The faithful to Masonic Hall.
It wasn’t very much, I know,
The little Lodge of long ago.

But, men who meet in finer halls,
Forgive me if the mind recalls
With love, not laughter, doors of pine,
And smoky lamps that dimly shine,
Regalia tarnished, garments frayed,
Or cheaply bought or simply made,
And floors uncarpeted, and men
Whose grammar falters now and then—
For Craft, or Creed, or God Himself,
Is not a book upon a shelf:
They have a splendour that will touch
A Lodge that isn’t very much.

It wasn’t very much – and yet
This made it great: there Masons met—
And, if a handful or a host,
That always matters, matters most.
The beauty of the meeting hour
Is not a thing of robe or flow’r,
However beautiful they seem:
The greatest beauty is the gleam
Of sympathy in honest eyes.
A Lodge is not a thing of size,
It is a thing of Brotherhood,
And that alone can make it good.

Douglas Malloch