The Man He Killed

Thomas Hardy 1840 (Stinsford) – 1928 (Dorchester, Dorset)



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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on May 01, 2023

35 sec read
217

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABAB CDCD XEXE FGFG HIHI
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 608
Words 115
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, was not a Scottish Minister, not a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland nor a Professor of Eccesiastical History at Edinburgh University. more…

All Thomas Hardy poems | Thomas Hardy Books

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