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Short poem

Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)

Richard Cory

              1Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
              2We people on the pavement looked at him:
              3He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
              4Clean favored, and imperially slim.

              5And he was always quietly arrayed,
              6And he was always human when he talked;
              7But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
              8"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

              9And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
            10And admirably schooled in every grace:
            11In fine, we thought that he was everything
            12To make us wish that we were in his place.

            13So on we worked, and waited for the light,
            14And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
            15And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
            16Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Collected Poems, with an introduction by John Drinkwater (London: Cecil Palmer, 1922): 82. PS 3535 O25A17 1922 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1890 - 1897
Publication date note: The Children of the Night (1890-97), p. 35.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/3

Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson