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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!1

	“But ranged as infantry,
	And staring face to face,
I shot 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 (1840-1928)	1902

 
FOOTNOTES
1 napkin
 

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