Museum of Freemasonry - Masonic Library

Many Tylers, when the proceedings  at the festive board have ended, call upon the Brethren to drink a final toast with the following words:-

Dear Brethren of the Mystic Tie, the night is waning fast.

Our duty’s done , our feast is O’er; this song must be the last.
‘God night, Good Night.’ Once more, once more repeat the farewell strain;
‘Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again! ’

This Stanza is the last of a Six-verse poem entitled “The Final Toast”, written by an obviously enthusiastic mason in India  in the middle of the nineteenth century.

It is not generally known that there is more than one verse and it is unlikely that many Brethren would be able to  recite the whole poem. But the complete poem is in common use in parts of Australia. From time to time in different countries the poem has appeared in print, but for many years the earliest record of it was in the Masonic Vocal Manual published at Hebdon Bridge, Yorkshire, in July 1852.

Every printing, however, differs in some respects from the original which reads:

 

1.   Are your glasses charged in the West and South, the Worshipful Master cries;

they’re charged in the West, They’re charged in the South, are the Warden’s prompt replies;

Then to our final Toast tonight your glasses fairly drain

“Happy to meet - Sorry to part - Happy to meet again

Oh! Happy to meet again.

CHORUS: Happy to meet - Sorry to part - Happy to meet again, again

Oh! Happy to meet again.

 

2.  The Mason’s social Brotherhood around the festive board,

Reveal a wealth more precious far than selfish miser’s hoard

They freely share the priceless stores that generous hearts contain -

“Happy to meet, sorry to part, Happy to meet again.”

 

3.  We work like Masons free and true, and when our task is done,

A merry song and cheering glass are not unduly won;

And only at our farewell pledge is pleasure touched with pain -

“Happy to meet, happy to part, happy to meet again.”

 

4.  Amidst our mirth we drink “To all poor Masons O’er the world”-

On every shore our flag of love is gloriously unfurled,

We prize each Brother, fair or dark, who bears no moral stain -

“Happy to meet, happy to part, happy to meet again.”

 

5.  The Mason feels the noble truth the Scottish peasant told

That rank is but the Guinea’s stamp, the man himself the Gold

With us the rich and poor unite and equal rights maintain

“Happy to meet, happy to part, happy to meet again”.

 

6.  Dear Brethren of the Mystic Tie, the night is waning fast -

Our duty’s done - our feast is O’er - this song must be our last;-

“Good night.”   “Good night” - once more, once more repeat the farewell strain -

“Happy to meet, happy to part, happy to meet again!”

--ooOOoo—

The above must be the original wording. It is the version  set to the original music and entered by the publishers, in Calcutta and London.The earliest known version printed in England (in the Masonic Vocal Manual) differs from it by only three words.

By Bro Will Read,  Page 108 Quator Coronatorum, 1978.