Home  »  Collected Poems by Robinson, Edwin Arlington  »  19. Aaron Stark

Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

II. The Children of the Night

19. Aaron Stark

WITHAL a meagre man was Aaron Stark,

Cursed and unkempt, shrewd, shrivelled, and morose.

A miser was he, with a miser’s nose,

And eyes like little dollars in the dark.

His thin, pinched mouth was nothing but a mark;

And when he spoke there came like sullen blows

Through scattered fangs a few snarled words and close,

As if a cur were chary of its bark.

Glad for the murmur of his hard renown,

Year after year he shambled through the town,

A loveless exile moving with a staff;

And oftentimes there crept into his ears

A sound of alien pity, touched with tears,—

And then (and only then) did Aaron laugh.