The Man He Killed

Thomas Hardy
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OriginalTraduzione tedesca di Walter A. Aue da The Lied, Art Song and...

Scene: The settle of the Fox Inn, Stagfoot Lane
Characters: The speaker (a returned soldier) and his friends natives of the hamlet

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.‎


Wenn er und ich gesehn
uns in der Schenke hier,
wir hätten uns zusammgesetzt,
getrunken Bier auf Bier.

Doch als Soldaten wir
uns gegenüberstehn.
Ich schieß auf ihn und er auf mich,
da war's um ihn geschehn.

Ich schoß ihn tot, weil...
weil er mein Gegner war,
just so: Mein Gegner war er schon...
und doch, obwohl das klar,

Vielleicht ging er zum Heer
nur so - und grad wie ich -
war arbeitslos - sein Sach verkauft -
nichts anders, sicherlich.

Ja, seltsam ist der Krieg!
Da schießt Du einen tot,
den Du ansonst bewirtet' und
geholfen aus der Not.

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