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Ashlar Home > Poems > I'm Ready for My Last Degree

I'm Ready for My Last Degree

Author Unknown

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

I've come to the end of the level of time That leads us to that 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 equal parts since life's early prime.
And this I have found amidst life's great 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 fair 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 and his signs,
My blueprints 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 it's surface is white,
My working tools will now 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 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 far away,
So, when I meet my Grand Master I can say,
I'm ready for my last degree.
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