You may climb the Mason's Ladder
till you reach the highest point
And in toiling slowly upwards rack yourself in every joint
But I venture to inform you - if you've reached to thirty-three
The best of all the bunch is what is called the Cork Degree.
You ask me what it means? Well, Sirs, it means just what it says
You can booze yourself to blazes through a hundred happy days
You may stop your dinner or your tea and sell your knife and fork
But you mus'nt venture out of doors without your Mason's Cork.
It's a circle and the centre that it holds is Fellowship
There are many signs and tokens which you may well give the slip
So long as you do not forget that the Cork, to have its due,
Must have safely in its centre what it seldom lacks - a screw.
For that means the bottle's open, and the drinks are going round
And the Corkites are delighted with the whiskeys gurgling sound
As it cluck clucks in Friendship's name and flows right merrily
And thus maintains the glories of the Almighty Cork Degree.
Then when heads are getting muzzy and when eyes are getting faint
And you're free to fight you're damndest with a devil or a Saint
If some kindly Christian Soul enquires how many moons you see
You may bet your empty tumbler he's got the Cork Degree.
(Reproduced by kind permission of St. Johns Masonic Lodge No 788 Cairncastle (Province of Antrim))