The Man He Killed

Thomas Hardy

"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 and 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."