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"The Man He Killed"


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.



"The Man He Killed" is a pretty simple poem to understand. It makes use of colloquialism, which is writing in the manner of speech. It is written in the first person from the view point of a soldier. He has just killed another man in battle and is now explaining why he did so.


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