READY FOR MY LAST DEGREE


An old man lay sick in the Masonic Home.
His face was as wan as the white sea foam.
His eyes were dim, his hair was gray.
His back was bent with the trials of the way.
He faltering spoke, but I heard him say,
I'm ready for my last degree.
 

I've come to the end of the level time
That leads us all to the Grand Lodge sublime
From whose borne none ever return.
More light in Masonry there I shall learn
By an Altar where light shall evermore shine.
I'm ready for my last degree.

With the Apprentice's gauge,
I've divided my time Into three equal parts since life's early prime.
And this I have found amidst life's turmoil.
My wages are due me, in Corn, Wine and Oil.
I'm ready for my last degree.

Each day from life's quarries, I've hewn a stone,
With the gavel I've shaped them, each one alone.
And shipped them along beyond that bright stand,
To build me a house in that great better land.
A spiritual house not made with hands.
I'm ready for my last degree.

I've squared each stone by the virtue square,
And plumbed them all true, as I shipped them there.
With the compass I've measured the Master's designs
And kept within due bounds, with his points an d his signs.
My blue prints are folded; I've answered his signs.
I'm ready for my last degree.

The Mortar I've made, from friendship and love,
To be spread with the Master's trowel up above.
My apron is worn, but its surface is white.
My working tools now will be cold and quiet.
My Trestle Board's bare, and I'm going tonight.
I'm ready for my last degree.

A few moments later, the old man was dead.
And I fancy that I could see his soul as it fled,
Upward and onward, to the great door,
Where he gave an alarm, and a voice did implore.
The old man gave his answer with these words once more,
I'm ready for my last degree.

That night in a lodge, free from all strife and storm,
He took that degree his last in due form.
So may I live like he did; to build day by day,

A spiritual house, in that land for away.
So I, when I meet my Grand Master I can say,
I'm ready for my last degree.