I am Ready for My Last Degree

An old man lay sick in the Masonic State Home His face was as white as the White Sea foam. His eyes were dim; his hair was gray. His back was bent with the toils of the way. He unflatteringly spoke, and I heard him say, I'm ready for my last degree.

I've come to the end of that level of time That leads us all on to that Grand Lodge sublime. From whose sacred form none ever returns. More light in Masonry there I shall learn By an altar where light ever more burns I'm ready for my last degree.

With the apprentice's gauge I divided my time And this I have found amidst life's' great turmoil: Time for work, for worship and rest from my toil My wages are due in corn, wine and oil- I'm ready for my last degree.

Each day from life's quarries I've hewn out a stone, With the gavel I've shaped them each one alone And shipped them alone beyond that bright strand To build me a house in that bright better land. A spiritual house not made by 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 in the due bounds with his points and his lines. My blueprints are folded-I've answer his signs I'm ready for my last degree.

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

That night in a lodge free from strife and from storm He took his last Degree-his last in due form So may I live as to build day by day A spiritual house in that land far away So when I meet my Grand Master I can say, I'm ready for my last degree.