“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 and he at me,
And killed him in his place.
“I shot at him 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.”
~ Thomas Hardy, “The Man He Killed”