Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAN HE KILLED, by THOMAS HARDY



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THE MAN HE KILLED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Had he and I but met
Last Line: "or help to half-a-crown."
Subject(s): Enemies; Murder; Soldiers; War


"Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat 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."





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