Round the ancient Lodges,
Men were set on guard,
North and south and east and west,
Keeping watch and ward.
Silent, steady, sleepless,
Keen of ear and eye—
On the pathway where they stood
No one might creep by.

As the covenanters
In each hidden glen
Kept a watch and ward without,
Posted earnest men—
Not as shield of evil,
Be it understood:
But they knew to keep the faith
They must guard the good.

Near the ancient Lodges
None might come to see;
None might come to listen there
Save a sign gave he,
For the ancient Lodges,
As those of today,
Kept the outer, creeping folk
Very far away.

But, today, each Mason
Has a duty high:
He must stand, a sentinel
To all that come nigh;
He must guard Freemasonry,
Must protect its name
As he would his gate or door,
Or a woman’s name.

How, then, shall we do this?
Word and deed must bear
Evidence of what is in
Compass, plumb and square!
So that they who watch us
In the daily crowd
Shall proclaim that Masonry
Is high, and clean, and proud!

Wilbur D. Nesbit