A copy of this wee ditty was given to me by P.M. Bro. John Southworth (my father-in-law) at the Harmony following my being raised as
a Master Mason.
Fortunately, I was never asked to read it aloud, my mastery of the local dialect was not (and still isn't ) that good. But I did understand it, and now I'd like to share it with you...
Auld Grace had pestered Tam for years aboot the Mason Craft
She'd spiered and spiered fae morn tae nicht till Tam was driven daft
She sware that wis tae blame whenever there was strife
That he should hide nae secrets fae his true and lawful wife
Tam Swore he couldna' breck his oath, Grace swore he was a leer
An ilka times she nagged like this. Tam went on the beer
Long length things came to sicca pass, it made his life a hell
That Tam in desperation cried the secrets he wid tell
Well pleased wis Grace she'd focht the fecht and fech she'd gained the day
So soon she sat and cocked her lugs tae hear whit Tam wid say
Quo Tam. "Will you go thro' the same as I went thro' masel ?
But fech ye'll need tae swear an oath that ithers yill no tell"
Grace said she'd swear a hunner oaths but Tam said yin wid dae
So Grace swore oot baith lood and long that neer a word she'd say
"Noo strip" said Tam. "Right tae the buff as bare as bare can be"
When Grace had stripped Tam shyly said
"Ye've got the First Degree"
Quo Tam " Wud ye go further noo and take the next degree ?"
Quo Grace "Ah will ye needna think tae flicht the likes o' me"
The Second the Quo Tam is clear an will ge're doots disperse
"Just stick yer right thoomb un yer mooth and the left yin yer aerse"
"Noo Grace ma lass this is the last the Third and best Degree"
"Gin ye dae it richt at ma oath a Mason ye will be"
Grace couldna speak but Tam cried oot
"Change hand my guid wife Grace
The left should noo be in yer mooth and the richt yin its place"
Then Grace cried oot in angry vice atween her scunnered spits
"If this is yer MASON'S THIRD DEGREE the yer develish dirty brits"
Noo Tam has honest peace o'mind as the neebors see
Since Grace chinged thoombs at Tam's request, and too the THIRD DEGREE!