(to Departmental Ditties)

I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
The deaths ye died I have watched beside,
And the lives ye led were mine. 

Was there aught that I did not share 
In vigil or toil or ease - 
One joy or woe that I did not know,
Dear hearts across the seas ?  

I have written the tale of our life 
For a sheltered people's mirth,
In jesting guise - but ye are wise,
And ye know what the jest is worth.

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