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Banquet Night by Rudyard Kipling

Today in Masonic History we present Banquet Night by Rudyard Kipling.

"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 beautifull 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 massage 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 the 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's gorge,
And it's always blowing off Joppa beach;
But once in so often, the messanger brings
Solomon's mandate:"Forget these things!
Brother to Beggars and Fellow to Kings,
Companion of Princes-forget these things!
Fellow-Craftman, forget these things!"