Thomas Hardy



            The Man He Killed


      '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.'


Thomas Hardy.