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Poem by Thomas Hardy


Then and Now


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

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 warfare wherein honour is not!
Rama laments
Its dead innocents:
Herod breathes: СSly slaughter
Shall rule! Let us, by modes once called accurst,
Overhead, under water,
Stab first.Т

1915

Thomas Hardy


Thomas Hardy's other poems:
  1. The Rash Bride
  2. The Hatband
  3. The History of an Hour
  4. The Paphian Ball
  5. Love Watches a Window


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Madison Cawein Then and Now ("When my old heart was young, my dear")
  • Ella Wilcox Then and Now ("A little time agone, a few brief years")
  • John McCrae Then and Now ("Beneath her window in the fragrant night")

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