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Editor's Selection of Poems
The Man He Killed

by Thomas Hardy

    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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