Ralph Edmond Stanley, Freemasons & bluegrass musician, born 25 February 1927; died 23 June 2016
ADIEU, A HEART–WARM, FOND ADIEU
Adieu, a heart warm, fond adieu,
Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favored, ye enlightened few,
Companions of my social joy!
Tho′ I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing fortune′s sliddery ba′,––
With melting heart and brimful eye,
I′ll mind you still, though far awa′.
Oft have I met your social band,
An′ spent the cheerful, festive night;
Oft, honored with supreme command,
Presided o′er the sons of light;
And by that Hieroglyphic bright,
Which none but Craftsmen ever saw,
Strong memory on my heart shall write
Those happy scenes, when far awa′.
May freedom, harmony and love
Unite you in the grand design,
Beneath th′ omniscient Eye above,
The glorious Architect divine;––
That you may keep the unerring line,
Still guided by the plummet′s law,
Till order bright completely shine,
Shall be my prayer when far awa′.
And you farewell, whose merits claim
Justly that highest badge to wear,––
Heaven bless your honored, 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. that′s far awa′.