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

VII. The Three Taverns

22. The Rat

AS often as he let himself be seen

We pitied him, or scorned him, or deplored

The inscrutable profusion of the Lord

Who shaped as one of us a thing so mean—

Who made him human when he might have been

A rat, and so been wholly in accord

With any other creature we abhorred

As always useless and not always clean.

Now he is hiding all alone somewhere,

And in a final hole not ready then;

For now he is among those over there

Who are not coming back to us again.

And we who do the fiction of our share

Say less of rats and rather more of men.