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 of time

That leads us all 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 three 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 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 and 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 far away

So when I meet my Grand Master I can say.

I'm ready for my last degree.

Author Unknown