The Farewell to the Brethren of St. James's
TUNE--"Good night, and joy be wi' you a'!"
The poet is said to have chanted this "Farewell" at a meeting of
St. James's Mason Lodge at Torbolton, while his
chest was on the way to Greenock, and he had just
written the last song he thought he should ever compose in Scotland. The person alluded
to in the last stanza was Major-General James Montgomery, who was Worshipful
Master, while Burns was Depute-Master.
ADIEU! a heart-warm, fond adieu!
Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favor'd, ye enlighten'd
Companions of my social joy!
Though I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing Fortune's slidd'ry ba',
With melting heart, and brimful eye,
I'll mind you still, tho' far awa.
Oft have I met your social Band,
And spent the cheerful, festive night;
Oft, honor'd with supreme command,
Presided o'er the Sons of light:
And, by that Hieroglyphic bright,
Which none but Craftsmen ever saw!
Strong Mem'ry on my heart shall write
Those happy scenes when far awa'!
May Freedom, Harmony and Love
Unite you in the grand Design,
Beneath the Omniscient Eye above,
The glorious ARCHITECT Divine!
That you may keep th' unerring line,
Still rising by the plummet's law,
Till Order bright, completely shine,
Shall be my Pray'r when far awa'.
And You, farewell! whose merits claim,
Justly, thet highest badge to wear!
Heav'n bless your honor'd, 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'