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Click the arrow to hear Bro. Charles McKay (WB5YRD) Recite "THE PALACE" by Bro. Rudard Kipling
This Poem was presented on the 15 Aniversary meeting of the Masonic Gathering on September 10, 2017.

Bro. Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30th 1865 in Mumbai (Bombay) India and was an extraordinarily prolific writer. He remains famous for his novels like the two Jungle Books and Captains Courageous, and masterful poems like Gunga Din and Mandalay. His writing displays both wit and insight.

When he was twenty, he was initiated into the Masonic Fraternity. Like many creative Brothers, he paid homage to the Craft through his talents. He wrote several poems, short stories and one novel that prominently featured Masonry. The poems include The Mother Lodge, The Palace, and Banquet Night (banquet is the after meeting dinner). The novel is The Man Who Would Be King. Two of his several short stories that featured Masonry took place in a lodge hall after a meeting.

Kipling received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907. He was an admirer of Brother Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), a contemporary of Brother Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and friends with both Brother Theodore Roosevelt and Brother King George V.


Masonic Ode


From “The Masonic Miscellany And Ladies’ Literary Magazine”

September, 1821 Vol. 1 No. 3 (no author cited)

Suggested for our Poet’s Page by N9JPV, Bro. Pat Lahrman


Was if a charm by Fancy wrought, In fascinating guise?

Was it, oh could it be, a thought,  The poet’s heart should prize?

“Friendship is but a name!” “A shade!” ah, no;

            It is a beauteous gem, design’d, By Heav’n to grace and bless mankind,                  

A balmy soother of our cares below,

We band of brothers feel its rays, And pay our tributary praise:

Long may our Craft its influence prove, In wisdom, beauty, strength, and love

The Mason’s rights invade no sacred code;

His highest glory is, His trust in God.

Charge, brothers, charge

 ---In ev’ry clime,  May Masonry last, as long as Time.


Masonic References in Literature
A Lodge Presentstion by Bro. Pat, N9JPV

Masonic References in Literature
presented by W. Brother Patrick Lehrman
November 11, 2019, Western Springs Lodge #1136
As an avid reader of fiction, I occasionally come across plain and veiled references to the craft.
Primary examples of the former is from Brother Rudyard Kipling: stories that take take place in
“Lodge of Faith and Works No. 5837”, he poems “Banquet Night” and “The Palace” and the novel: ”The
Man Who would be King” He also wrote several poems that referenced the craft either indirectly or in
hidden references.
Rudyard Kipling
Banquet Night
"ONCE in so often," King Solomon said,
Watching his quarrymen drill the stone,
"We will club our garlic and wine and bread
And banquet together beneath my Throne,
And all the Brethren shall come to that mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."
"Send a swift shallop to Hiram of Tyre,
Felling and floating our beautiful trees,
Say that the Brethren and I desire
Talk with our Brethren who use the seas.
And we shall be happy to meet them at mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."
"Carry this message to Hiram Abif-
Excellent master of forge and mine :-
I and the Brethren would like it if
He and the Brethren will come to dine
(Garments from Bozrah or morning-dress)
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."
"God gave the Hyssop and Cedar their place-
Also the Bramble, the Fig and the Thorn-
But that is no reason to black a man's face
Because he is not what he hasn't been born.
And, as touching the Temple, I hold and profess
We are Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."
So it was ordered and so it was done,
And the hewers of wood and the Masons of Mark,
With foc'sle hands of Sidon run
And Navy Lords from the Royal Ark,
Came and sat down and were merry at mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less.
The Quarries are hotter than Hiram's forge,
No one is safe from the dog-whip's reach.
It's mostly snowing up Lebanon gorge,
And it's always blowing off Joppa beach;
But once in so often, the messenger brings
Solomon's mandate : "Forget these things!
Brother to Beggars and Fellow to Kings,
Companion of Princes-forget these things!
Fellow-Craftsmen, forget these things!"

An example of the latter would be from “The Cask of the Amontillado” by Brother Edgar Poe: “He laughed
and threw the bottle upwards with a gesticulation I did not understand.
I looked at him in surprise. He repeated the movement--a grotesque one.
"You do not comprehend?" he said.
"Not I," I replied.
"Then you are not of the brotherhood."
‘You are not of the masons.’ ”
"Yes, yes," I said; "yes, yes."
"You? Impossible! A mason?"
"A mason," I replied.
"A sign," he said, "a sign."
"It is this," I answered, producing a trowel from beneath the folds of my roquelaire.

Brother Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creator of Sherlock Holmes as well as author of many other stories and
novels also made references to the craft:

From “The Red Headed League”:
Sherlock Holmes’s quick eye took in my occupation, and he shook his head with a smile as he noticed my
questioning glances. “Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labor, that he takes
snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of
writing lately, I can deduce nothing else.”
Mr. Jabez Wilson started up in his chair, with his forefinger upon the paper, but his eyes upon my
“How, in the name of good-fortune, did you know all that, Mr. Holmes?” he asked. “How did you know, for
example, that I did manual labor. It’s as true as gospel, for I began as a ship’s carpenter.”
“Your hands, my dear sir. Your right hand is quite a size larger than your left. You have worked with it, and
the muscles are more developed.”
“Well, the snuff, then, and the Freemasonry?”
“I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you how I read that, especially as, rather against the strict rules of
your order, you use an arc-and-compass breastpin.”

From “A Study in Scarlet” the inventory of the deceased:
“We have it all here,” said Gregson, pointing to a litter of objects upon one of the bottom steps of the stairs.
“A gold watch, No. 97163, by Barraud, of London. Gold Albert chain, very heavy and solid. Gold ring,
with masonic device. Gold pin—bull-dog’s head, with rubies as eyes. Russian leather card-case, with cards
of Enoch J. Drebber of Cleveland, corresponding with the E. J. D. upon the linen. No purse, but loose
money to the extent of seven pounds thirteen. Pocket edition of Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron,’ with name of
Joseph Stangerson upon the fly-leaf. Two letters—one addressed to E. J. Drebber and one to Joseph

Or from the Novel “The Valley of Fear” an initiation scene of sorts:
“The Bodymaster orders that he shall be trussed, blinded, and entered,” said he.
The three of them removed his coat, turned up the sleeve of his right arm, and finally passed a rope round
above the elbows and made it fast. They next placed a thick black cap right over his head and the upper part
of his face, so that he could see nothing. He was then led into the assembly hall.
It was pitch dark and very oppressive under his hood. He heard the rustle and murmur of the people round
him, and then the voice of McGinty sounded dull and distant through the covering of his ears.
“John McMurdo,” said the voice, “are you already a member of the Ancient Order of Freemen?”
He bowed in assent.
“Is your lodge No. 29, Chicago?”
He bowed again.
“Dark nights are unpleasant,” said the voice.
“Yes, for strangers to travel,” he answered.
“The clouds are heavy.”
“Yes, a storm is approaching.”
“Are the brethren satisfied?” asked the Bodymaster.
There was a general murmur of assent.
“We know, Brother, by your sign and by your countersign that you are indeed one of us,” said McGinty.
“We would have you know, however, that in this county and in other counties of these parts we have certain
rites, and also certain duties of our own which call for good men. Are you ready to be tested?”
“I am.”
“Are you of stout heart?”
“I am.”
“Take a stride forward to prove it.”

Alexandre Dumas, Pere was most noted for his novels of the D’Artagnan romance series comprising five
While I noted in “The Count of Monte Cristo” : ‘ He got to know all the smugglers around the
Mediterranean and learned the Masonic signs that these semi-pirates used to recognize one another." Chap.
And: “We sailors are like freemasons, we recognize one another by certain signs.'" Chap. Xxxi

While reading the book:” THE VICOMTE DE BRAGELONNE” of the D'Atragnan series I was taken by
surprise when in Chapter 69 I read:
This group was superintended by the man whom D'Artagnan had already remarked, and who appeared to be
the engineer-in-chief. A plan was lying open before him upon a large stone forming a table, and at some
paces from him a crane was in action. This engineer, who by his evident importance first attracted the
attention of D'Artagnan, wore a justaucorps, which, from its sumptuousness, was scarcely in harmony with
the work he was employed in, that rather necessitated the costume of a master-mason [note: not chief
architect but master-mason] than of a noble. He was a man of immense stature and great square shoulders,
and wore a hat covered with feathers. He gesticulated in the most majestic manner, and appeared, for
D'Artagnan only saw his back, to be scolding the workmen for their idleness and want of strength.
D'Artagnan continued to draw nearer. At that moment the man with the feathers ceased to gesticulate, and,
with his hands placed upon his knees, was following, half-bent, the effort of six workmen to raise a block of
hewn stone to the top of a piece of timber destined to support that stone, so that the cord of the crane might
be passed under it. The six men, all on one side of the stone, united their efforts to raise it to eight or ten
inches from the ground, sweating and blowing, whilst a seventh got ready for when there should be daylight
enough beneath it to slide in the roller that was to support it. But the stone had already twice escaped from
their hands before gaining a sufficient height for the roller to be introduced. There can be no doubt that
every time the stone escaped them, they bounded quickly backwards, to keep their feet from being crushed
by the refalling stone. Every time, the stone, abandoned by them, sunk deeper into the damp earth, which
rendered the operation more and more difficult. A third effort was followed by no better success, but with
progressive discouragement. And yet, when the six men were bent towards the stone, the man with the
feathers had himself, with a powerful voice, given the word of command, "Ferme!" which regulates
maneuvers of strength. Then he drew himself up.
"Oh! oh!" said he, "what is this all about? Have I to do with men of straw? Corne de boeuf! stand on one
side, and you shall see how this is to be done."
"Peste!" said D'Artagnan, "will he pretend to raise that rock? that would be a sight worth looking at."
The workmen, as commanded by the engineer, drew back with their ears down, and shaking their heads,
with the exception of the one who held the plank, who prepared to perform the office. The man with the
feathers went up to the stone, stooped, slipped his hands under the face lying upon the ground, stiffened his
Herculean muscles, and without a strain, with a slow motion, like that of a machine, lifted the end of the
rock a foot from the ground. The workman who held the plank profited by the space thus given him, and
slipped the roller under the stone.
"That's the way," said the giant, not letting the rock fall again, but placing it upon its support.
"Mordioux!" cried D'Artagnan, "I know but one man capable of such a feat of strength."
"Hein!" cried the colossus, turning round.
"Porthos!" murmured D'Artagnan, seized with stupor, "Porthos at Belle-Isle!"
On his part, the man with the feathers fixed his eyes upon the disguised lieutenant, and, in spite of his
metamorphosis, recognized him. "D'Artagnan!" cried he; and the color mounted to his face. "Hush!" said he
to D'Artagnan.
"Hush!" in his turn, said the musketeer. In fact, if Porthos had just been discovered by D'Artagnan,
D'Artagnan had just been discovered by Porthos. The interest of the particular secret of each struck them
both at the same instant. Nevertheless the first movement of the two men was to throw their arms around
each other. What they wished to conceal from the bystanders, was not their friendship, but their names. But,
after the embrace, came reflection.

So Porthos, one of three Musketeers is presented as an operative Master Mason.
Alexandre Dumas, Pere, along with his playwright son Alexandre Dumas fils, and his father Thomas
Alexandre Dumas (a noted general under Napoleon Bonapart) were Master Masons, of the Grand Orient of

These are the examples I have read. There are most likely many more. I have not read enough from Brother
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) nor Brother Robert Service (of Yukon Lodge 45 in Dawson City) to have
discovered any references to the Craft.