More ancient than the Golden Fleece
Whose story shines in classic lore:
Or Roman Eagle—which portrayed
Chivalric deeds in dare of yore.
More honored than the Knightly Star,
Or Royal Garter, it must be;
A symbol you should fondly keep
From spot and stain forever free.
It may be that in coming years,
As time shall all your labors test:
That laurel leaves of Victory
Shall on your brow in honor rest.
Yea, from your breast may jewels hang
fit for diadem to grace:
And sparkling gems of beauty rare
May on your person find a place.
Nay more, perchance which coming light,
Your feet may tread the path of fame:
Which in our Mystic order leads
To glory, and an honored name.
Yes, on your shoulders there may rest
The purple which we hold so dear:
That ensign which our progress marks
In high fraternal Circles here.
But never more can you receive
From mortal hand while here below:
An emblem which such honor brings
As this one—which I now bestow.
Until your spirit shall have passed
Beyond the pearly gates above:
May this the “Badge of Innocence”
Remind you of your vows of love.
‘Tis yours to wear throughout your life,
‘Til death shall call your soul to God;
Then on your casket to be placed,
When you shall sleep beneath the sod.
Its spotless surface is a type
Of that which marks a noble mind:
The rectitude of heart and life,
Which in its teachings you should find.
And when at last your weary feet
Shall reach the goal awaiting all:
And from your tired nerveless grasp
The working tools of life shall fall.
May then the record of your life,
reflect the pure and spotless white
Of this fair token which I place
Within your keeping here tonight.
And as your naked soul shall stand
Before the great white house throne of light;
And judgement for the deeds of earth
Shall issue there—to bless or blight;
Then may you hear the Welcome Voice
That tells of endless joys begun,
As God shall own your faithfulness,
And greet you with the words, “Well Done.”
— N A McAulay, The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, December, 1916