In the first stanza of the poem the narrator introduces the beggar as a repulsive outcast. The description of the person in the first line “sprawled in the dust” immediately provokes the image of a beggar as something rather than someone, which has been alienated by society. Furthermore, when the narrator describes the beggar as a “target for small children, flies and dogs”, he portrays that the beggar is an object of attack. The narrator makes it sound like the beggar is a being lesser than humans. The line “a heap of verminous rags and matted hair” it instantly makes the reader think of a person with poor physical hygiene. But then the narrator states that he “watches with cunning reptile eyes’, which challenges the previous image and suggests that he is subtle and scheming, like a snake.