E. A. Robinson's poem "Richard Cory" is a dramatic description of a citizen who is successful and cultured and resembles a model citizen in a way. People like him and admire him, and he seems to continue on the same level every day, "flutter[ing] pulses" and "glitter[ing] when he walks" (Robinson, "Richard Cory").
... rhyme scheme is suggestive of the meaning behind the poem-that you cannot know what somebody is like inside just from the outer appearances. The rhythm of the stanzas, as well as the light tone that the poem starts in, are not at all foretelling of what is to come in the last stanza, unless if one employs irony and listens to the foreboding that this poem seems too light to be taken at face value. Thus the rhythm of the poem-regular, perfect grammatical stanzas, and the rhyme scheme which follows in an orderly way, seem to show the outside perfection of Richard Cory's life. However, only the last two stanzas give away (what goes on in) his inner life, and this is in sharp contrast to the outside appearances, in fact, completely contrary to the seeming perfection.
The second stanza describes Richard Cory's behavior in a social sense, and more of his effect upon other people. The third stanza describes his social standing and his position, and we see him as a very wealthy man. But he is also "schooled in every grace", which makes him somewhat of a hero figure, as he is not only rich and handsome, but also of a fine mind and fine manners.
Thus up to the end of the third stanza, what we as readers are offered is this description of Richard Cory, in which we see him as a bright character, and almost like a model citizen in a way. ...