THE LODGE ROOM OVER SIMPKIN'S STORE
by MW Lawrence N. Greenleaf, the Grand Lodge of Colorado
Dated November 19, 1898
The plainest lodge room in the land was
over Simpkins' Store,
Where Friendship Lodge had met each month
for fifty years or more.
When o'er the earth the moon full-orbed
had cast her brightest beams,
The Brethren came for miles around
on horseback and in teams,
And O! what hearty grasp of hand, what
welcome met them there,
As mingled with the waiting groups they
slowly mount the stair,
Exchanging fragmentary news or prophecies
Until they reach the Tyler's room and current topics
To turn their thoughts to nobler themes they cherish and
And which were heard on meeting night up over Simpkins'
To city eyes, a cheerless room, long
usage had defaced,
The tell-tale lines of lath and beam on wall
and ceiling traced.
The light from oil-fed lamps was dim and
yellow in its hue,
The carpet once could pattern boast, though
now ‘twas lost to view.
The altar and the pedestals that marked
the stations three,
The gate-post pillars topped with balls, the
rude carved Letter G,
Were village joiners clumsy work, with many
Where beauty's lines were all effaced and ornament
There could be left no lingering doubt, if doubt there
The plainest lodge room in the land was over
While musing thus on outward form the
meeting time drew near,
And we had a glimpse of inner life
through watchful eye and ear.
When Lodge convened at gavel's
sound with officers in place,
We looked for strange, conglomerate
work, but could no errors trace.
The more we saw, the more we
heard, the greater our amaze,
To find those country brethren
there so skilled in Mason's ways.
But greater marvels were to come before
the night was through,
Where unity was not mere name, but fell on
heart like dew.
Where tenets had the mind imbued, and truths rich
In plainest Lodge room in the land, up over
To hear the record of their acts was
music to the ear,
We sing of deeds unwritten which on angel's
A widow's case - Four helpless ones -
lodge funds were running low.
A dozen brethren sprang
to feet and offers were not slow.
Food, rainment, things of
needful sort, while one gave load of wood,
Another, shoes for
little ones, for each gave what he could.
Then spake the last: "I
haven't things like these to give - but then,
Some ready money
may help out: - and he laid down a Ten.
brother cast on darkest square upon life's checkered floor,
beacon light to reach the white - was over Simpkins'
Like scoffer who remained to pray,
impressed by sight and sound,
The faded carpet 'neath our feet
was now like holy ground.
The walls that had such a dingy look
were turned celestial blue,
The ceiling changed to canopy where
stars were shining through.
Bright tongues of flame from altar
leaped, the G was vivid blaze,
All common things seemed glorified
by heaven's reflected rays.
O! wondrous transformation wrought
through ministry of love -
Behold the Lodge Room
Beautiful! - fair type of that above,
The vision fades
- the lesson lives! and taught as ne'er before,
In plainest Lodge
room in the land - up over Simpkins' store.
back to top