The Man He Killed
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!
But ranged as infantry,
And starring 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 enlist, 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.
Nb : Paragraph by paragraph its about :
Paragraph 1 : If I had met him in an inn, we should have sat down and drunk till we felt satisfied.
Paragraph 2 : But, standing face to face as infantry soldiers. I shot him and he shot me. And I killed him there.
Paragraph 3: I shot him dead because … because he was my enemy. That’s it : because he was my enemy. It is clear that he was my enemy although …
Paragraph 4 : He became a soldier because, just like me, he was out of work-he had sold all his work instruments. There was no other reason.
Paragraph 5 : Yes, war is strange and curious. You shoot a person whom you would buy a drink if you met him in a bar or whom you would give some money.