The Man He Killed

by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Had he and I but met
    By some old ancient inn,
We should have set us down to wet
    Right many a nipperkin!
    But ranged as infantry,
    And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
    And killed him in his place.
    I shot him dead because-
    Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
    That's clear enough; although
    He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
    Off-hand like-just as I-
Was out of work-had sold his traps-
    No other reason why.
    Yes; quaint and curious war is!
    You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat, if met where any bar is,
    Or help to half a crown.

Last updated January 14, 2019