Now the pathetic dies away and martial strains are heard,
reminding us of the battlefield and it’s attendant glory.
The glorious notes of the battle-hymn float over the red field of carnage.
Brave men hear the inspiring music;
the ranks close up;
the bayonets are fixed;
and, with a cheer which strikes terror to the heart of the foe,
they rush forward in one glorious charge,
across the plain,
slippery with the blood of patriots,
up the opposing hillside,
even to the mouth of cannon belching forth fire and death.
But stop! Look yonder!
The dying soldier raises his head.
His breast is already crimson with his heart’s blood.
His eye even now is dimming and glazing.
The old home comes back to him in memory.
He puts his hand to his ear as if listening.
What does he hear?
Ah, it is the old, old melody of youth and home!
Again he is around the old hearthstone.
Again he kneels at mother’s knee to lisp the evening prayer.
Again she takes him in her arms and sings to her tired child the soft,
low lullaby of childhood’s happy days.
Oh, Music! Music!
Thou dost move and stir the heart as nothing else cando!
Yet never canst they sweet potency be better used than when it inspires praise and gratitude to the great God and Master of us all!
Excerpt from the Masonic Fellowcraft Second Section, circa 1903