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 staring face to face,
I shot at him and 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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