Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Hardy’

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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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