My Master and I

Says the master to me, "Is it true, I am told
Your name on the books of the Union enrolled;
I can never allow that a workman of mine
With wicked disturbers of peace should combine.'

Says I to the master, "It's perfectly true
That I am in the Union, and I'll stick to it too,
And if between Union and you I must choose,
I have plenty to win and little to lose.

"For twenty years mostly my bread has been dry,
And to butter it now I shall certainly try;
And though I respect you, remember I'm free,
No master in England shall trample on me.'

Says the master to me, "A word or two more.
We never have quarrelled on matters before.
If you stick to the Union, ere long I'll be bound,
You will come and ask me for more wages all round.

"Now I cannot afford more than two bob a day
When I look at the taxes and rent that I pay,
And the crops are so injured by game as you see,
If it is hard for you it's hard also for me.'

Says I to the master, "I do not see how
Any need has arisen for quarrelling now,
And though likely enough we shall ask for more wage
I can promise you we shall not get first in a rage.'
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