THE MAN I KILLED
“ 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 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 tramps-
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.”
This poem was written in 1902 by Thomas Hardy. A soldier is talking and he talks about a man he had met during the war.
The poem is made up of twenty lines, split into 5 stanzas. Each stanza is made up of four lines which begin with a capital letter. There is a regular punctuation and there are four run-on-lines “Had he and I but met// By some old ancient inn” (lines 1-2),“We should have set us down to wet//Right many a nipperkin” (lines 3-4), “although // He thought he'd 'list” (lines 12-13) and “You shoot a fellow down// You'd treat, if met where any bar is” (lines18-19) The first line of each stanza is intended and the rimes with the third. All in all, I really like this poem because it’s so expressive and it arouses different feelings in me.