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The Dying Hope

Today in Masonic History we present The Dying Hope by Rob Morris.

Preface - This poem was written by Rob Morris about Algernon Sydney. He was a British politician during the 17th century. His book Discourses Concerning Government was viewed as treasonous against King Charles II. He was tried, convicted of treason, and sentenced to death. At his execution he willingly knelt down and placed his own head on the block. According to custom the executioner asked him "Sir, will you rise again?" Sydney replied "Not till the General Resurrection! Strike On!" His book became an inspiration for the American Revolution. It is not clear if he was a mason, Morris more than likely wrote the poem about him due to his tie with the forming of the United States.

On the verge of Eternity, calmly surveying
The dark-rolling waters that threatened beneath,
The Martyr of Liberty ended his praying
And patiently waited the signal of death;
His head on the block, but his spirit away,
In the land where the tyrant shall forfeit his sway.

The words of his lips, how undaunted and cheering
They spoke of a victory grand and complete;
Their told that this mortal, whom despots were fearing,
Though conquered by wrong, was the conquerer yet-
"The grave cannot hold me I the dust shall be won
From the worm and the darkness of nature STRIKE ON!"

How mighty that hope, when the spirit departing,
must sunder the ties that have bound it so long,
To feel that this tenement we are deserting,
Shall rise to new glories thro' Jesus The Strong
The grave cannot hold us!-the flesh shall be won
From the worm and the darkness of nature! Strike On!

Ah, yes! and each flaw that the eye has detected;
While occupied here shall be covered above;
Renewed by the same glorious hand, that erected,
These Temples shall all be made perfect In love;
The grave shall not hold, the flesh shall be won
From the worm and the darkness of nature! Strike On!

Then cheer, Brothers, cheer! for why should death alarm us!
A brief separation the monster will bring;
His pangs will afford, though a moment they harm us,
A glorious reunion thro' Jesus the King!
The grave shall not bold us-the flesh shall be won
From the ,worm and the darkness of nature! Strike On!