Thomas Hardy (1902)

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selewis
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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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Pat Holscher
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Great poem, thanks for posting that.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
selewis
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I’ve come to appreciate Hardy more than I did when I read Tess fifty odd years ago- callow youth- and I’d never read his poetry, that I can recall. I ran across this one several weeks ago and thought it apt for Veterans Day. I’m glad you liked it. For inspirational verse in this genre I think the best is Frost’s sonnet A Soldier, which I posted here years ago.

https://www.robertfrost.org/a-soldier.jsp
NickRider
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selewis wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:03 am I’ve come to appreciate Hardy more than I did when I read Tess fifty odd years ago- callow youth- and I’d never read his poetry, that I can recall. I ran across this one several weeks ago and thought it apt for Veterans Day. I’m glad you liked it. For inspirational verse in this genre I think the best is Frost’s sonnet A Soldier, which I posted here years ago.

https://www.roberthorsezz.org/a-soldier.jsp
I like this piece, especially the last part:
But this we know, the obstacle that checked
And tripped the body, shot the spirit on
Further than target ever showed or shone
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