The Farewell to the Brethren of St. Jamess Lodge, Tarbolton.
TUNE--"Good night, and joy be wi' you a'!"
The poet is said to have chanted this "Farewell" at a meeting of St. Jamess Mason Lodge at Torbolton, while his chest was on the way to Greenock, and he had just written the last song he thought he should ever compose in Scotland. The person alluded to in the last stanza was Major-General James Montgomery, who was Worshipful Master, while Burns was Depute-Master.
ADIEU! a heart-warm, fond adieu!
Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favor'd, ye enlighten'd few,
Companions of my social joy!
Though I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing Fortunes slidd'ry ba',
With melting heart, and brimful eye,
I'll mind you still, tho' far awa.
Oft have I met your social Band,
And spent the cheerful, festive night;
Oft, honor'd with supreme command,
Presided o'er the Sons of light:
And, by that Hieroglyphic bright,
Which none but Craftsmen ever saw!
Strong Mem'ry on my heart shall write
Those happy scenes when far awa'!
May Freedom, Harmony and Love
Unite you in the grand Design,
Beneath the Omniscient Eye above,
The glorious ARCHITECT Divine!
That you may keep th' unerring line,
Still rising by the plummets law,
Till Order bright, completely shine,
Shall be my Pray'r when far awa'.
And You, farewell! whose merits claim,
(TAB)Justly, thet highest badge to wear!
Heav'n bless your honor'd, noble Name,
To MASONRY and SCOTIA dear!
A last request, permit me here,
When yearly ye assemble a',
One round, I ask it with a tear,
To him, the Bard, thats far awa'.
Transcribed from a 1927 facsimile of the Kilmarnock edition of 1786. Note that other edition have sometimes altered the spelling of Tarbolton to Torbolton; honor to honour; and Saint Jamess to "Saint James'. The Nimmo edition of 1867 titles it "A Farewell to the Brethren of St Jamess Lodge, Torbolton."