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The Man He Killed ~Thomas Hardy

Strecher Bearers

"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."


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