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Vinton, David

A distinguished lecturer on Freemasonry, and teacher of the ritual in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. His field of labors was principally confined to the Southern States, and he taught his system for some time with great success in North and South Carolina. There were, however, stains upon his eharaeter, and he was eventually expelled by the Grand Lodge of the former State. He died at Shakertown, Kentucky, in July, 1833. Vinton published at Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1816, a volumes containing Selections of Masonic, Sentimental and Humorous songs, under the title of The Masonic Minstrel. Of this rather trifling work no less than twelve thousand copies were sold by subscription.

To Vinton's poetic genius we are indebted for that beautiful dirge commencing, Solemn strikes the funeral chime which became in almost all the Lodges of the United States a part of the ritualistic ceremonies of the Sublime Degree, and has been sung over the graves of thousands of departed Brethren. This contribution should preserve the memory of Vinton among the Craft, and in some measure atone for his faults, whatever they may have been. The words of this poem are appended as follows:

Solemn strikes the funeral chime Notes of our departing time As we journey here belowThrough a pilgrimage of woe.

Mortals, now indulge a tear For mortality is here! See how wide her trophics wave O'er the slumbers of the grave!

Here another guest we bring! Seraphs of celestial wing, To our fun'ral altar come, Waft our friend and brother home.

Thee, enlarged, thy souI shall see What was veiled in mystery; Heavenly glories of the place Show his Maker face to face.

Lord of all! below--above-- Fill our hearts with truth and love When dissolves our earthly tie Take us to Thy Lodge on high.

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