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Read more poems by Thomas Hardy: Thomas Hardy Poems at Poetry X.

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Then And Now

Thomas Hardy

When battles were fought 
With a chivalrous sense of should and ought, 
In spirit men said, 
"End we quick or dead, 
Honour is some reward! 
Let us fight fair -- for our own best or worst; 
So, Gentlemen of the Guard, 
Fire first!" 

In the open they stood, 
Man to man in his knightlihood: 
They would not deign 
To profit by a stain 
On the honourable rules, 
Knowing that practise perfidy no man durst 
Who in the heroic schools 
Was nurst. 

But now, behold, what 
Is war with those where honour is not! 
Rama laments 
Its dead innocents; 
Herod howls: "Sly slaughter 
Rules now! Let us, by modes once called accurst, 
Overhead, under water, 
Stab first." 

Added: 25 Feb 2002 | Last Read: 26 Apr 2018 10:55 PM | Viewed: 4947 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2790/ | Viewed on 26 April 2018.
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