The Mason's Ladder

Mrs. Sophia B. Oliver


"The principal rounds of which are Faith, Hope, and Charity."

— Webb.

Based on earth, the Mason's ladder
  Reacheth upward to the sky;
Every round a star of glory,
  Watch'd by the "All-seeing eye."
Mounting ever, and descending
  Lo! The bright angelic throng,
Seen in Jacob's radiant vision
  Move those shining steps along.

On the first round there standeth
  Pointing upward to the skies,
Faith — the eagle-eyed, the trustful,
  Bidding man from earth arise;
Telling him to shake his garments
  From their travel-stains and dust,
And to raise a soul immortal
  To the mansions of the Just.

Higher up, with smile benignant,
  Hope, the seraph, cheers him on,
Sings along of joy and triumph
  In a high exultant tone;
Lends to him her vigorous pinions
  When he wearies on the road,
Helps him to ascend the ladder
  Reaching to the throne of God.

On the highest round, with glory
  Flooding her angelic face,
Charity, the fairest, purest,
  Stands in all her virgin grace.
Lo! her spotless hand she reacheth
  To the child of earth and sin,
Thrown o'er him her radiant mantle,
   Open the door and lets him in.