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EDGAR A. GUEST
MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES
FAMOUS FREEMASONS
.
Poetry of Edgar A. Guest
A popular and successful poet, Eddie Guest wrote more than 15,000 poems, one a day from 1916 to 1959. He once said:
"Masonry has greatly enriched my life. It has given me friendships that I cherish dearly. It has, I think, whispered subconsciously to me in the silent hours, words of caution and encouragement. I like going back to my lodge. I have found it refreshing and good to step aside out of the path of my busy life and sit again with the Masons who have carried on in my absence." 1
I See You've Travelled Some
He Who Serves
The Brethren
My Creed
Results and Roses
Be a Friend
The real Successes
It Couldn't Be Done
Grace at Evening
If You Would Please Me
"Move We Adjourn"
The Lambskin
I'd like to think when life is done
That I had filled a needed post.
That here and there I'd paid my fare
With more than idle talk and boast;
That I had taken gifts divine.
The breath of life and manhood fine,
And tried to use them now and then
In service for my fellow men. 2
I see you've travelled some
Wherever you may chance to be—
Wherever you may roam,
Far away in foreign lands;
Or just at Home Sweet Home;
It always gives you pleasure,
it makes your heart strings hum
Just to hear the words of cheer,
"I see you've travelled some."
When you get a brother’s greeting,
And he takes you by the hand,
It thrills you with a feeling
that you cannot understand,
You feel that bond of brotherhood
that tie that’s sure to come
When you hear him say in a friendly way
"I see you've travelled some."
And if you are a stranger,
In strange lands all alone
If fate has left you stranded—
Dead broke and far from home,
It thrills you—makes you dumb,
When he says with a grip of fellowship,
"I see you've travelled some."
And when your final summons comes,
To take a last long trip,
Adorned with Lambskin Apron White
and gems of fellowship—
The Tiler at the Golden Gate,
With Square and Level and Plumb
Will size up your pin and say "Walk In",
"I see you've travelled some." 3
He Who Serves
He has not served who gathers gold,
Nor has he served whose life is told
In selfish battles he has won,
Or deeds of skill that he has done;
But he has served who now and then
Has helped along his fellow men.
The world needs many men today;
Red-blooded men along life’s way,
With cheerful smiles and helping hands,
And with the faith that understands
The beauty of the simple deed
Which serves another’s hour of need.
Strong men to stand beside the weak,
Kind men to hear what others speak;
True men to keep our country’s laws
And guard its honor and its cause;
Men who will bravely play life’s game
Nor ask rewards of gold or fame.
Teach me to do the best I can
To help and cheer our fellow man;
Teach me to lose my selfish need
And glory in the larger deed
Which smoothes the road, and lights the day
For all who chance to come my way.
The Brethren
The world is needing you and me,
In places where we ought to be;
Somewhere today it’s needing you
To stand for what you know is true.
And needing me somewhere today.
To keep the faith, let come what may.
The world needs honest men today
To lead its youth along the way,
Men who will write in all their deeds
The beauty of their spoken creeds,
And spurn advantage here and gain,
On which deceit must leave its stain.
The world needs men who will not brag,
Men who will honor Freedom’s Flag,
Men, who although the way is hard,
Against the lure of shame will guard,
The world needs gentle men and true
And calls aloud to me and you.
The world needs men of lofty aim,
Not merely men of skill and fame,
Not merely leaders wise and grave,
Or learned men or soldiers brave,
But men whose lives are fair to see,
Such men as you and I can be. 4
My Creed
To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honor still;
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me
Still work and hope for victory.
To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I'm alone
As when my every deed is known;
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham,
Exactly what men think I am.
To leave some simple mark behind,
To keep my having lived in mind;
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.
This, I believe, is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.
p. 12.
Results and Roses
The man who wants a garden fair,
Or small or very big,
With flowers growing here and there,
Must bend his back and dig.
The things are mighty few on earth
That wishes can attain.
Whate'er we want of any worth
We've got to work to gain.
It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You've got to dig from week to week
To get Results or Roses.
p. 23.
Be a Friend
Be a friend. You don't need money:
Just a disposition sunny;
Just the wish to help another
Get along some way or other;
Just a kindly hand extended
Out to one who’s unbefriended;
Just the will to give or lend,
This will make you someone’s friend.
Be a friend. You don't need glory.
Friendship is a simple story.
Pass by trifling errors blindly,
Gaze on honest effort kindly,
Cheer the youth who’s bravely trying,
Pity him who’s sadly sighing;
Just a little labor spend
On the duties of a friend.
Be a friend. The pay is bigger
(Though not written by a figure)
Than is earned by people clever
In what’s merely self-endeavor.
You'Il have friends instead of neighbors
For the profits of your labors;
You'Il be richer in the end
Than a prince, if you're a friend.
p. 28.
The Real Successes
You think that the failures are many,
You think the successes are few,
But you judge by the rule of the penny,
And not by the good that men do.
You judge men by standards of treasure
That merely obtain upon earth,
When the brother you're snubbing may measure
Full-length to God’s standard of worth.
The failures are not in the ditches,
The failures are not in the ranks,
They have missed the acquirement of riches
Their fortunes are not in the banks.
Their virtues are never paraded,
Their worth is not always in view,
But they're fighting their battles unaided
And fighting them honestly, too.
There are failures to-day in high places
The failures aren't all in the low;
There are rich men with scorn in their faces
Whose homes are but castles of woe.
The homes that are happy are many,
And numberless fathers are true;
And this is the standard, if any,
By which we must judge what men do.
Wherever loved ones are awaiting
The toiler to kiss and Ťaress,
Though in Bradstreet’s he hasn't a rating,
He still is a splendid success.
If the dear ones who gather about him
And know what he’s striving to do
Have never a reason to doubt him,
Is he less successful than you?
You think that the failures are many,
You judge by men’s profits in gold;
You judge by the rule of the penny--
In this true success isn't told.
This falsely man’s story is telling,
For wealth often brings on distress,.
But wherever love brightens a dwelling,
There lives, rich or poor, a success.
p. 42.
It Couldn't Be Done
Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldnt," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That coUldn't be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done," and you'Il do it.
p. 72.
Grace at Evening
For all the beauties of the day,
The innocence of childhood’s play,
For health and strength and laughter sweet,
Dear Lord, our thanks we now repeat.
For this our daily gift of food
We offer now our gratitude,
For all the blessings we have known
Our debt of gratefulness we own.
Here at the table now we pray,
Keep us together down the way;
May this, our family circle, be
Held fast by love and unity.
Grant, when the shades of night shall fall,
Sweet be the dreams of one and all;
And when another day shall break
Unto Thy service may we wake.
p. 139.
If You Would Please Me
If you would please me when Ive passed away
Let not your grief embitter you. Be brave;
Turn with full courage from my mounded grave
And smile upon the children at their play;
Let them make merry in their usual way;
Do not with sorrow those young lives enslave
Or steal from them the fleeting joys they crave;
Let not your grieving spoil their happy day.
Live on as you have lived these many years,
Still let your soul be gentle and be kind--
I never liked to see those eyes in tears!
Weep not too much that you must stay behind;
Share in the lives of others as you'd share,
If God had willed it still to leave me there.
p. 179.
"Move We Adjourn"
When I'm weary of argument wordy
And tired of continuous debate,
When the speaker like some hurdy gurdy,
Which carries on early and late,
Keeps up a monotonous bellow
On lessons I don't want to learn,
'Tis then I give cheers for the fellow
Who rises and moves to adjourn.
There are motions to lay on the table,
There are motions for this and for that,
And I stick just as long as I'm able
And hark to the chatterer’s chat,
I stand for the rising thanks motion
For the one who has done a good turn,
But my friend is the chap with the notion
To get up and move to adjourn.
There are some who like papers and speeches,
And open discussions of things,
The heights some new orator reaches,
The lesson and message he brings.
But each his own fancy must cling to,
What one chooses others may spurn,
So this simple tribute I sing to
The brother who moves to adjourn!
p. 184.

1. William R. Denslow, 10,000 Famous Freemasons. vol. ii, p. 151. From an unidentified 1947 article.
2. Favorite Verse of Edger A Guest, New York Permabooks, 1950. titlepage. Other pages noted.
3. Ascribed to Guest by Dan Glenn, PM Kendall Lodge 897 Boerne, TX. Unconfirmed.
4. Ascribed to Guest at <www.calodges.org/no529/poetryaf.html#The Brethren>. Unconfirmed.

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