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

V. The Town Down the River

19. Doctor of Billiards

Of all among the fallen from on high,

We count you last and leave you to regain

Your born dominion of a life made vain

By three spheres of insidious ivory.

You dwindle to the lesser tragedy—

Content, you say. We call, but you remain.

Nothing alive gone wrong could be so plain,

Or quite so blasted with absurdity.

You click away the kingdom that is yours,

And you click off your crown for cap and bells;

You smile, who are still master of the feast,

And for your smile we credit you the least;

But when your false, unhallowed laugh occurs,

We seem to think there may be something else.