Want to play the tune while you read?
Written by Brother David Vinton, 1816
Solemn strikes the funeral chime!
Notes of our departing time,
As we journey here below,
On a pilgrimage of woe.
Brothers, now indulge a tear,
For mortality is here!
See how wide her trophies wave,
O'er the slumbers of the grave.
Here another guest we bring,
Seraphs of celestial wing,
To our funeral altar come,
Waft a friend and brother home.
Lord of all, below, above,
Fill our hearts with Truth and Love.
As dissolves our earthly tie,
Take us to Thy Lodge on High.
Image from The Ahimon Rezon or Book of Constitutions of
The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina
Here is another delightful piece by Brother Pleyel:
Sonatina No.1, Op.8 (arr. for four guitars, played by M.Knezevic)
Listen to some more beautiful hymns by Brother Pleyel at The Cyber Hymnal
Some Facts about Pleyel's Hymn
According to Robert G. Davis, FPS, writing as a guest author in the Spring 1997 Indiana Freemason, "...the music was composed by Ignaz Joseph Pleyel, a composer who was a student of Brother Hayden's, and also a Mason himself. It is a hymn from Pleyel's '4th Quartet, op. 7,' published in 1791." Also in this article, Brother Davis says about the lyricist, "[Brother David Vinton] is best known for publishing at Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1816, a volume...under the title of 'The Masonic Minstrel.'...It was in this volume that the words of the beautiful dirge used in the Third Degree [were] found."
Some Facts about Brother Pleyel
In "Die Geschichte der Fraumererei in Oesterreich-Ungarn" by Ludwig Abafi, published in 1899 in Budapest you will read (Volume 5, page 288) you may observe in the list of lodge members for the year 1784 that Ignace Pleyel was a Fellowcraft in Lodge "zum goldenen Rad" in Eberau, Hungary. This lodge worked under the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hungary, Grand Lodge of Austria, till the suppression of Freemasonry by Emperor Joseph II.
Pleyel is described by Abafi as "Componist bei Lad. Erddy, bedeutender Musiker, nachmals Musikalienhndler in Paris". Composer and Brother Ignace Pleyel indeed returned to Paris afterwards and started there a piano manufacturing business.
We should therefore no longer believe that Pleyel, the composer of the 3rd degree masonic hymn is only a beautiful legend ...
Jacques Huyghebaert, Internet Lodge no 9659, EC