Posts Tagged ‘The Man He Killed’


The following poem is by Thomas Hardy. Entitled ‘The Man he Killed,’ it sums up for me the futility of war and how it affects ordinary people.

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.

(photograph from the Daily Mail archive)

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