Bro. Neil Munro
Born in Inveraray in 1863
Munro was the Author of ‘The Vital Spark (Para Handy)’ and other notable works
He held the office of Lodge Bard at the start of the 20th Century
For more information on the life and works of Neil Munro, click on his portrait above
and you will be re-directed to
Inveraray Lodge of Freemason's St John's Night 1904.
Ode to "The Old Master"
By Bro. Neil Munro.
The ode was given on the Presentation of an Inscribed Silver tea pot to
Provost Bro. Alexander Guthrie celebrating the Diamond Jubilee on 15th October
1904 of Alexander's marriage to Juliet Stewart.
As I was walking in my own town,
A score of the Craft came walking down:
All of them looked so spruce and gay,
That I said “O Brothers! What cheer today?"
And this is what they said to me -
Those merry men of the Mark Degree:
“What! Master Bard, don't you know the news?
Off apron and on with your dancing shoes!
The Lodge for labour is closed, and we
Are good fellows out on harmony;
For the good old master, you should know,
Was married sixty years ago.”
Said I, "Good Luck with the master then –
The model of Masters, the best of men;
And the best of luck with his good wife too;
But what is a humble Bard to do?
I cannot dance, nor tell a tale,
And the Master approves not of drinking ale,
Gladly would I drink to his health,
And his content that is more than wealth;
But if there is no ale or wine,
How can I toast him for Auld Lang Syne?"
The Brothers laughed, and cried “Come fall in;
And give us your toast in Alttan - aluinn,"
To the Masters house were The Brothers come;
(God bless the Masters hearth and home)
In the Masters house did the love light shine,
That is better far than your sparkling wine,
In the Masters house were faith and peace,
The psalm and the song. May his kind increase!
I took up the goblet of water clear,
That runs from the hills where the stately deer
Prance in the heather through Shira Glen,
In eas, and hollow, and hazel den –
Altann-alluin, God's own wine,
Richer than any that comes from Rhine!
And we drank to the Master, in the glass
That drowns no moments as they pass;
And we swore that the secret of age naught else,
Was the water that wimpled from mountain wells,
"Here's to the master!" I cried; “May we
Be half as good men at our Jubilee!"
And the Brothers all cried, "So mote it be!"
By Bro. Neil Munro (1904)
Here is an image of 'The Old Master'