by Gen. Albert Pike
Albert Pike (1809-1891) began writing as a youth, and “Hymns to the Gods” was his first published poem when he was only 23. He subsequently became a contributor to Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine after his book, Prose Sketches and Poems Written in the Western Country, appeared in 1834.Then, in 1872, he published an extended collection, Hymns to the Gods and Other Poems. An admirer of the work of Shelley and Cooleridge, he in turn was admired by Edgar Allan Poe.
He is primarily remembered as perhaps the leading scholar of Freemasonry in the nineteenth century but quite apart from that his verses display his incredible linguistic skills and knowledge of mythology. He is always struggling for synthesis, believing, “the great aim is to discover unity in multiplicity”. This is key to both his poetry and to the many degrees of Freemasonry that he revised and embellished.