Skip to main content
By Edwin Arlington Robinson

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,

   Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;

He wept that he was ever born,

   And he had reasons.


Miniver loved the days of old

   When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;

The vision of a warrior bold

   Would set him dancing.


Miniver sighed for what was not,

   And dreamed, and rested from his labors;

He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,

   And Priam’s neighbors.


Miniver mourned the ripe renown

   That made so many a name so fragrant;

He mourned Romance, now on the town,

   And Art, a vagrant.


Miniver loved the Medici,

   Albeit he had never seen one;

He would have sinned incessantly

   Could he have been one.


Miniver cursed the commonplace

   And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;

He missed the mediæval grace

   Of iron clothing.


Miniver scorned the gold he sought,

   But sore annoyed was he without it;

Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,

   And thought about it.


Miniver Cheevy, born too late,

   Scratched his head and kept on thinking;

Miniver coughed, and called it fate,

   And kept on drinking.


n/a

Poet Bio

Edwin Arlington Robinson is America’s poet laureate of unhappiness. In patiently crafted verse of great sonority, he portrays men and women suffering from life’s ordeals yet striving to understand and master their fates. Robinson’s tragic vision had its roots in a youth spent in the small town of Gardiner, Maine. So sensitive he claimed he came into the world “with his skin inside out,” he once told a fellow poet that at six he had sat in a rocking chair and wondered why he’d been born.

More By This Poet

More Poems about Living

Browse poems about Living

More Poems about Mythology & Folklore

Browse poems about Mythology & Folklore