Posted by Neil Neddermeyer
Posted by Neil Neddermeyer
Rudyard Kipling was a prominent Freemason. A number of his poems and stories were centered upon the Craft.
This poem has never been considered to be based on Freemasonry, however, it might be.
Thoughtful brothers will be able to see that many of the points made here by Brother Kipling appear to relate directly to our laws and traditions.
Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back –
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
Indeed our traditions are as old and as true as the sky and the strength of Masonry depends on each brother and the strength of each brother may sometimes depend on the Craft. The Fortitude of each Brother toward the traditions of the Craft is what makes our future secure.
Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.
Keep temperance in mind while we are indulging in our time of refreshment.
Use the 24” gauge to organize our lives and guard against vices.
The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own.
We must support our families when we mature. As we advance through the degrees we take on new responsibilities.
Keep peace with the Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.
Prudence is one of our cardinal virtues and we should always keep it in mind.
When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.
Allow our Masonic leaders to speak publicly for the Craft.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.
When you have disagreements with a Brother, work it out in private so as not to obstruct harmony within the lodge.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.
Respect the family of another Mason.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.
Whispering good council in a Brother’s ear is a correct thing and taking that good council is encouraged.
If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.
Keep in mind the interests of your Brothers as they will also keep yours in mind.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!
The secrets of your brothers are to be kept, but murder and treason are excepted. Violations of Masonic law shall be dealt with by certain and immediate justice.
If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.
Always consider giving charity for the less fortunate.
The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.
Theft from a Lodge will be dealt with by nothing less than expulsion.
The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Charity will not be mandatory but will be given freely within the length of a Brothers cabletow.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.
Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
A Brothers obligation includes charity to the widow and the orphan of a Brother.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.
A brother should put the care of his family first, and should not neglect them in favor of his Lodge responsibilities.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.
A Brother should always respect directions given by the Master if within the length of his cabletow.
Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is – Obey.
Kipling compares the laws of our Craft with the laws of the wolf in the jungle. These include Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice.
Posted by Neil Neddermeyer
Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
No sentence fragments.
It behooves us to avoid archaisms.
Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
Don’t use no double negatives.
If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole
Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Writing carefully, dangling participles should not be used.
Kill all exclamation points!!!