Let no king quite put off his crown!
I still would have him kingly when
In some old inn the king sat down
To banquet with his serving-men.
I love a mild and merry priest,
Whom Brothers toast, and neighbors prod;
Yet would I have him, at the feast,
A little of the man of God.

So with a Mason: I would see
Him somewhat of a Mason still,
Though far from Lodge-rooms he may be,
In court, or counting-house, or mill.
Whatever garment he may doff,
What mark Masonic lay aside,
I would not have him quite put off
The Craft he lately glorified.

A soldier is a soldier, though
He lays the sword aside awhile.
The time, the place, I do not know
Man may not serve, or may not smile.
I know no moment anywhere,
Whatever place the place may be,
A Mason may not always wear
A little of his Masonry.

Some would have Spring within the heart,
But I, some mellow month in mine
Like old October: flowers depart,
And even youth must resign —
But always, brothers, there are some
To whom no Winters ever come:
Always October skies are theirs,
Even amid life's wintry cares.

And I would have my soul look the same:
I cannot keep the look of youth,
But how October maples flame —
Age takes our beauty, gives us truth,
Age takes our wit, and makes us wise,
Age gives us life's October skies
And old October's mellower days,
A better time a thousand ways.

God make me mellow! Make me not
Sudden as Summer, brief as Spring.
I would not blow too cold, too hot,
I would keep kind through ev'rything.
I may give others less than flow'rs
Of flattery, but in their hours
Of grief, of trouble and of need
May I bring rather fruits to feed.

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